Lela Hannah Ross

Word Associations: Clinical Global Impression: Lela Hannah Ross

Word Associations: Clinical GLobal Impression

makes me think
of sterile rooms, vinyl tiles
washed out by

fluorescent lights

make me think of
spotlights, not the ones
at Broadway shows,
the ones that shine
bright enough
that my skull becomes translucent,

my thoughts

make me think of
how universal it is
for an inkling of a worry
to intrude like a mosquito
buzzing against an eardrum.
A hand sweeps it away,
like the mind sweeping away
an intrusive thought,
a minor nuisance with the potential to bite,

my mind

makes me think of
how it’s not so easy to
sweep away the intrusions
that manifest and reproduce
into more obsessive thoughts –
is the door locked?
is there someone hiding under my bed?
am I really alive?
I check and recheck.
The door is locked.
There’s no one under my bed.
My obituary isn’t online,
and I just went out with a friend,
so I must be alive,
unless I am

a ghost

makes me think of
how I have become a whisper
of a person,
a misunderstood first


makes me think of
my Clinical Global Impression,
how my improvement rating
is only a 3,
meaning that since I started therapy
six months ago, I’ve made

slight progress

makes me think of
barely scratching

the surface

makes me think
back to six months ago
when there was barely a surface in sight
because I was drowning,
but now the sun is in reach,
a sphere of fire that can never scorch my
hands, only kiss my flesh
and welcome me back to shore.

Lela Hannah Ross' poetry has been published in Typehouse Literary Magazine. She holds a BA in Integrative Studies from George Mason University. When she isn’t writing, Lela enjoys reading, fashion sketching, and performing improv.