I haven’t written poetry in ages. Years, maybe. But tonight, I needed to write and I remembered the release that comes through poetry; how artistically saying things sometimes means more than stating them outright. So, I wrote something other than prose, and it felt like meeting up with a long-lost friend.

I feel hurt and frustrated tonight, due to dealings with a mentally-ill relative. I want to be angry, but my prevailing feeling is pity. Praise God I don’t know what it’s like to live with such mental turmoil that I can devastate others and not even care. What a dark, awful place that must be.


I don’t understand what drives you.

Sometimes, I wish I knew.

But the depth of your darkness must run so deep

It’s something I, nor anyone else, may know.

I don’t know what it’s like

To live in such turmoil

That I could harm the plans of little kids

With nary a thought

That I could scare them with

Abusive, abrupt arguments and actions

And walk away haughtily from all authority

With no remorse or fear.

I don’t know how it’s possible

To curse the woman who gave you life,

–Who birthed you once,  and later saved you–

To hurl at your mother words so black, so vile

That most decent people have never heard them

Yet you laughed as they pelted her

And clung to her soft, rose-petal skin,

Burning through like scalding asphalt.

I don’t know what it’s like to be you,

Or what inner demons came to roost

So very, very long ago.

I don’t know why

You never asked them to leave

Never made them to leave

All the times help was offered to you,

All the times grace was extended

Like warm soup on a sterling spoon,

You batted it away like a spoilt child

Demanding something better

When her best, our best was given

And it was all we had to give.

I don’t understand why your things

Are more important to you than people,

Or why you would steal from a child

Knowingly – and justify it in your mind.

What comfort lies in chunks of metal

Or inanimate piles of plastic?

Your days on the earth grow short, and yet

You collect as though you’ll live forever

Seeming to believe like some Egyptian king

You’ll be buried with all of these favorite things.

I don’t know how you expect

Any of us to feel anything beyond pity for you


Or how you think we owe you respect

After all the things you’ve done.

I know you don’t believe it, but

You are still in our prayers.

We pray for your mental freedom every day.

But please, try to understand

That this peace cannot just come

Like a magical vapor in the morning

You must want it, and seek it

You must want and seek Him

And He says if you do that, you will find

The answers to the darkness

The remedy you didn’t know that you needed.

I don’t know if you’ll ever

Gather up the gumption and courage to change

Or if you’re ever going to be able

to even acknowledge the need.

But I can hope.

And hope, I do…