pain

A POEM TO THOSE WHO SAW THEIR LOVED ONES TRAPPED BY MENTAL ILLNESS BUT KEPT THEIR HOPE INTACT

Artwork by  David Uzochukwu

Artwork by David Uzochukwu

You were my new best friend in a blue blanket

The best gift mom and dad ever brought home

You were my tag team partner, my confidante,

Comfort in a shared mac n cheese bowl

 

Busy roads and bullies were never the enemy

It was always your mind

I couldn’t protect you

Couldn’t stop the rage from making you blind

 

These floorboards hide

ashes from extinguished flames

dried scabs from pearled knuckles

and dust from childhood board games

 

Father’s nails are caked with worry

His backbone trembles in the cold

I reach out to warm his tired hands

but realize any embers I have left, I’ve sold

 

Your demons snarl at us from under the rugs

Clawing at our soles, leaving scars

Mother silences their newborn wails

with forced small talk in cramped cars

 

Every blow to the head

Every knife raised

Every 3 am 911 call

This plague has affected us all

 

We carry the loss of who you used to be

In invisible mountains on our backs silently

It’s been winter in this home for a few years now

And we are all frozen, awaiting fall.

 

“Little Brother”, Naomi Hon