Fallen into Bedlam

She woke to the sound of a quarrel,
surrounded by whitewashed narrow
walls. But they couldn’t whitewash sorrow
with a smattering of hollow words.
It was all a masquerade, this singing in Bedlam,
a one-woman parade, to escape the man
who had sprayed her life with his rotten sheen,
turned her into something obscene
to earn the price to stay alive in the scramble
of the gutter, where only rats are visible.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Fallen into Bedlam

Patient from London’s Bethlam Royal Hospital also known as ‘Bedlam’ taken in the 1800s by Henry Hering – image found on Pinterest

My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #153

Week 153.png

13 thoughts on “Fallen into Bedlam

    1. For some women, it was the only escape from prostitution but I think many of them regretted it once they were there. They were used for some pretty gruesome experiments and a visit to Bedlam was entertainment for the better off.


  1. Bedlam always fills me with a fear of madness and cruelty – how many people incarcerated through ignorance or poverty. Your poem chimes with words of understanding and fills my mind with chilling images.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My great grandmother was put into an asylum left over from Victorian times She had dementia and I was taken to visit her every Sunday when I was little. It left a lasing impression on me.


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