I studied a book of records,
a time machine from 1905.
Photographs of forgotten inmates
stared at me with sightless eyes
with handwritten headings saying "Imbecile"
and it was quite impossible not to feel
a sadness viewing these lost souls,
female photographs in black and white
afflicted with "Acute Melancholia"
and "Mania", the notes
denoting their progress (or lack of it)
and not the language which the doctors now speak
so no unpronounceable words in Greek.
One thought she had known a doctor
for over 60 years although a teenager
and another convinced she was Napoleon,
some even incarcerated for epilepsy.
Oh, there were so many tragic tales
but all their problems have drifted away,
I close the book...but memories will stay.