The Visit

you regale me with how you solved the crisis du jour
your theories and declarations nonsensical
my own mind spins
I imagine your brain matter
tangled synapses like a bundle of wires behind the TV
a muddled juncture of red and yellow, green and white
beyond repair
I bite my tongue, plaster a smile
try futilely to corral you
into mundane topics
chit-chatting about my latest cruise
but that never works
you could care less
so I hold back what I’d really like to say to you
my anguish never vented except in fitful dreams at 2AM
I nod and concede
tolerate your absurd
do anything to keep you from yelling
and scream silently for you again



Editor’s Note: This poem is one of a few published to Refuat Hanefesh by Joanne touching on the life of her brother and his mental illness. Please see Joanne’s author page for further moving pieces and check back for the continued publishing of Joanne’s work.


Joanne Jagoda

After retiring in 2009, one inspiring writing workshop launched Joanne Jagoda of Oakland, California on an unexpected writing trajectory. Her short stories, poetry and nonfiction appear on-line and in print anthologies including A Poet’s Siddur, Pure Slush, Better After 50. and Persimmon Tree Magazine. In 2015, her poem, “Mr. Avocado Man” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Joanne continues taking a variety of Bay Area writing classes, enjoys Zumba, traveling and spoiling her seven grandchildren, who call her “Savta.”
Joanne Jagoda

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