I used to know someone with a heavy load.
She walked silently, thought if she said
nothing, no one would know.
She wanted to protect us.
We didn’t tell her how the
weight of something not even ours
was compressing our ribs,
made it hard to breathe,
hard to remember how
We wanted to protect her.
Her life had been built
on shifting plates,
and since we’d moved in so close
when the ground shook
we all felt it.
Depression seeps like water under doorways,
hides in cupboards to jump out at you,
dresses like an old friend,
distinguishable only in his
muted colours and musty smell.
She was drawn to my joy,
I to her courage.
Then night fell,
and it took from me just one slip of certainty
to learn her sadness was stronger.
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