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NORMAL

a poem by Maureen Oliver


You give me drugs to make me
normal,
you say I have some illness that
has taken normality
away from me -
I tell you now I never was nor could
be normal.
At school, they knew me for what I was
and would have none of me,
they made it clear they knew I was not
normal.
Therapy was tried, and failed, and
drugs made me stupid, but, lamentably, still not
normal.
Leave me alone! I am not normal!
I was never meant to be -
give me my books and my paintings,
let me listen to The Magic Flute,
let me talk to myself,
let me dream
awake
till I die and afterwards let my epitaph be –
"Sadly, the trouble with her was
she was never really quite
normal".


Maureen Oliver