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Safety First.

by John Exell

A neighbour often stops me in the street.
He always asks if I have found a job yet.
I always tell him that I suffer from bad nerves and depression,
That I cannot take stress,
That the doctor doesn't want me to work.

He often sees me with a broad smile on my face,
Dashing about somewhere or other.
He is always polite and friendly towards me,
But I'm sure that underneath
He thinks that I am a scrounger, a malingerer, a fraud.

Do I tell him that voices tell me to write and do strange things?
That I see Angels hovering above the Mind Café,
The Community Centre,
And the Mental Health Day Centre.
That I see devils sitting on the roof of the Job Centre,
The Social Security Office and the Town Hall.
That a short while ago I thought I was MichelAngelo;
Last year it was William Blake.
Do I tell him that two winters ago
Things got so bad that I tried to take my own life?
Do I tell him that I suffer from Schizophrenia?

Or is it safer and wiser perhaps to allow him to think bad of me?

Leonardo da Vinci.
(Also known as John Exell).