On Being Normal
So, what is 'normal' and what are its bounds?
A nominalisation on medical grounds
decided by doctors doing their rounds.
Determined by doctors who study the brain,
who say I'm not normal and drug me again.
But anxiety's normal, so I would have guessed
when a policeman turns up in a bullet-proof vest.
It's normal to argue when someone insists
your behaviour is manic and mind's in a twist.
It's normal to protest, to plead and to pray
when an ambulance calls to take you away.
It's normal to mind when they fail to explain
quite what they think has gone wrong with your brain.
It's normal for doctors to err on the side
of professional judgement and arrogant pride
and they flatter themselves as they lock you inside
that they were the ones who had to decide
if you were disordered or others had lied.
It's hard to accept and it's painful to see
what's normal for them isn't normal for me.
I'd like to listen to what someone said
before I committed a hospital bed.
- by Prajna Pranab, 1998