No Visitors Allowed

Behind the locked door
she answers no more
trapped between her silence
and the safe house rules
a desperate prison of refuge 
where no visitors are allowed.


Live in fear of creating trouble
warned not to break the rules
brother hides under the table
sister walks and calls to the door
their mother gives no response 
killed by the absence of hope.


Opiate toxicity the clinical report
the final death blow is recorded 
medical records don’t include despair 
or the dread of four more years 
locked in a system of no housing
autopsy omits the policies of greed.

Ciaran Burke
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