This life is not what it was supposed to be,

To rail against, silently,

To pretend, outwardly.

It won’t be all right because it

wasn’t supposed to be in the

First place.

I surround myself with his photos and


What do I remember? My son.

My plans for him, what I thought would happen,

How his life was supposed to be.

He holds his beautiful head in his hands.

His scent is the same.

His voice.

I’m sick when he flies away.

I watch the plane and wait for an



The turn to insanity

Plagues compassion.

Violence twists gentleness to

Someone unfamiliar.

Then he returns for a few days; my lost child.

I glimpse him again.

He comes home again after I

Lay him to rest.

This new boy is him,

But not.


I’m an alcoholic/addict who’s being taught that

God will heal my disease while

My psychotic son languishes

In a mental hospital where,

They tell me, he

Cannot be taught about God

Because that kind of approach to his

Disease is dangerous, feeds his Psychosis.

Then, in the next breath, they say

Our diseases go hand in hand,

The same gene that’s made him

Mentally ill

Also made me an addict.

So there you go.

There it is.


One Comment

  • smileandrelax says:

    I love this. There are some profound seedlings in this poem that, given water, could really grow. I don’t agree with the idea that talking about God to someone who experiences psychosis is bad. Psychosis is a flight from a painful or problematic reality that faith might help someone find peace with. My friend and myself, both of whom on occasion experience forms of psychosis, both cultivate serenity and find that in adversity – reaching a peaceful place within ourselves is possible. Cultivating serenity reduces stress and can reduce the likelihood of a relapse.

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