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April PAD Challenge — Day Seventeen

April 17, 2015

Prompt: write a ‘swing’ poem

The Pendulum Swings

They called them mood swings
when you were a young mother
there was little medication
almost no hospitalization
not that you could afford
or would’ve taken the help
being crazy was taboo

but you had happy pills
round, little blue dots
taken with shaking fingers
downed with vodka or gin
and the shades pulled low
then temporary moments of clarity
followed by day-long crashes
I could always tell
when you were swingin’ high
the house sparkled
clothes were clean and ironed
and dinner made every night
but when you fell
you broke us all

Your room became a fortress
your bed, a darkened tower
and you stayed holed up there
while we swam the mote
in search of your sanity
we didn’t understand
all we wanted was you back

today they call it
postpartum or bipolar
either way, it’s depression
I too am plagued
and the pendulum swings

©April 2015, Lori Carlson

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