Arts featured

Missing meds, a poem by Anna Quon


that’s how it’s supposed to go
instead I tumble out of bed
and have two cups of coffee
(one for each eye)
check my phone
then eat and shower and leave
for the coffee shop
to write poems

So often, I forget the tiny
flying saucer of aripiprazole
that is meant to float
across my twilit moodscape,
hover over each wandering thought
in its drunken rowboat
abducting, then beaming,it
back to me– the cleaner, brighter,
sober second
version of itself.

And then at night
when I am
fallen from the perch of day
still dressed into my unmade bed
I often wonder if I took
a sertraline- the little capsule
that’s half yellow and half white (like me)
which should contain me,
calmly bobbing in the sea of dreams
to be rescued in the morning
by kindly alien hands

When am I not in transit
caught in the terrifying safety
of well-meaning pharmacy?
Only when I am errant,
absent, missing from my meds–
and only then by accident,
or laziness.
Because I also fear
what lies outside
the electric fence–
the grassy freedom,
where the endless winds
of madness blow.


Missing meds is is the fifth of nine poems we will publish during the remainder of the year. It was selected as a result of the call for poems we issued in May.

Anna Quon is a middle-aged, mobility-impaired, mixed-race Mad woman living in Dartmouth. Author of two novels released by Invisible Publishing  (Migration Songs in 2009 and Low in 2013), numerous poetry chapbook zines and a few little films, Anna hopes to keep swimming, facebooking, writing and making things until her wrinkled fingers fall off.

She would like to thank Arts Nova Scotia and Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support of her work in the past and hopefully future, including for the Canada Council grant that helped make possible this poem from her memoir of madness in poetry in progress, Mad Woman.



  1. I love this poem Anna.

    I remember with fondness being at a little cafe in Halifax one evening where you did a superb reading of your first novel. Met your Dad and Sister that evening. Danny (husband) and I already knew your Mom.

    Your family is lovely. You are blessed. Write on!!

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