I Do Not Know Depression

August 2014

 

I do not know depression

As blackest night, swift-descending,

Midnight at mid-day,

Darkest hour from whence there comes no dawn.

 

I know depression rather

As a traveler knows the distant storm,

Glowering nimbostratus,

Threatening to rend her roof and hearth.

 

I do not know depression

As paralysis, the incarcerated heart,

Benumbed, unresponsive

To the spirit’s half-willed command.

 

I know depression rather

As a visitor standing at the prison gate,

Offering amidst her sentence

Too brief a respite from her soul’s confinement.

 

I do not know depression

As a shipwreck, flotsam in the flood,

Where wave and shoal conspire

To drown the plea for mercy or for rescue.

 

I know depression rather

As a sailor answering her unsent SOS,

Who late-arriving casts a line

And prays it soon enough, and long.