Written By Aretta Adams as a tribute to the many patients who were incarcerated in State Insane Asylums during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.



They brought me here when I was only twenty-five,

My husband dead and I had no one else,

“Wait,” I said.  “Let me explain,” I said.

But they did not listen.


They said I drank too much and did bad things,

I was diseased and not fit to be with others.

“Wait,” I said.  “Let me explain,” I said.

But they did not listen.


They gave me pills that made me ill,

They tried ice baths that left me frigid,

And when I could stand no more and resisted,

They talked of lobotomy as if I wasn’t there.

And they did not listen.


I ran from them into a cold November rain,

Wet and muddy, they dragged me back again,

I felt that I must plead for my life,

“I am not mad!” I screamed.

When they did not listen.


Chained to my bed.  Where are my clothes?

No blanket and I am numb with cold,

The silent darkness seems to envelop me,

“I think that I may die tonight,” I whispered.

But they did not listen.


I feel lighter now and I am warm again,

I watch the scene played out below,

As they wrap my body in a linen shroud,

And place it in a wooden  box – the lid nailed down.

If only they had listened.


A horse-drawn wagon takes my coffin to the graveyard,

I watch in silence as the clods of dirt are shoveled in,

I slowly turn toward blue sky and Heaven,

They would not listen – but now my soul is free.

Rose Ellen