Voices on the Wind
Memo from Elizabeth Ware Packard, 1897
by Wilda Morris
Disbelieving in the total depravity
of humankind, baking biscuits
when my husband wanted bread,
looking disheveled at dawn
after keeping watch through the night
with a sick daughter—these were all arguments
my husband gave to prove me insane
and keep me locked away in an asylum
so my views would not impact our children
or parishioners in the church he pastored.
When I was released, he said
he was showing his congregation
the ways of God by locking me
in an icy room without winter clothes,
window nailed shut, refusing me
the comfort of family prayers,
not letting me see my children.
Which of us was crazy?
Then again, maybe I was insane
to have gone back home.