Depression Speaks

Like a creeping ivy
I caress your dreaming face,
You think I am your mother’s touch
And you smile at her embrace.
But then you realize
That it is only I
So you pull the covers up
To hide.

She is gone
And I am here,
You are where I thrive,
I spread my vines within you
And wrap myself inside
Your muscles and your sinew
And your mind.

You wonder why I’m back:
Did you fail to take your pills?
Are you getting any sunshine?
Are you fretting over bills?
Did you imbibe in too much wine?
Are you spending too much time . . .

Today you will pretend
That I’m not even here.
You smile and talk too brightly
But I can feel your fear,
For you had weeded me all summer
Until my roots had seemed to die
But your dreams awakened me
And I revived.


You are the master
Of orchestration
Playing me like the whole
Woodwind section
Your sharp ear attuned to
My reedy thin excuses
That we could enjoy the music
If we tried.

You planned my exit well
Waiting until the final movement
And by reminding me that my intermezzos
Had been too long.
I accused you of a flat affect;
You shrugged as if to say you merely
Directed and assessed
And it was clear that my interpretation
Was too dramatic when the piece
Called merely for restraint and reminders
That you were always the conductor.

So I exited
While your weary eyes and smug lips
Watched me pack my low blow oboes,
My what is next clarinets, and flutes
Rendered mute by your planned apathy,
And your soulless sonata.

Death in December

A death in December
Is the ruination of an entire year
Of tiny triumphs and celebrations
Of birthdays, and Saturdays, and of
Sunlight streaming across a breakfast table.

No one tells you that it will take years
To recall beloved off-key carols
Sung with bellowing joy
Or a hand leading you into the shivery night
To bang on pots and pans to
Welcome the New Year

December is that sad marauder
Who laughs and smiles with clenched teeth
And glassy eyes because it would be so unseemly,
So undignified to cry,
Especially when so much time has passed
Since a death in December.