Friday, December 13, 2013

Melancholy Arrives

In like a parade
the dreaded shadow comes;

not a parade for which children
flock to the streets, gathering the offerings
of beauty queens and Santa
but one in which innocents
fly under the covers
hugging their pillows tight chanting
not this time not this time not again.

It's the boots of an army,
heard far-off approaching,
the rumble of a truck
set to repossess your wares,
the snap of a lock,
the whipping-master is home.

Lo, you tried to prepare,
stocking up the larder,
squirreling away the liquid
sunshine of tomatoes and
spiritual food: how a blanket,
under an August spread of city-stars,
sounds when skin is
rubbed against it over and over.

You thought you'd be spared --
but at the first touch of thunder
the picnic is done.

First round the corner then down the street then here
The Shadow,
ever darkening the door.


As adults we abuse ourselves more -- so melancholy and despondency seem to hit us more. But we are not the only ones to feel it. Our children suffer seasonal depression too -- they just manifest it in different ways.

One day the RebelAngel is peppy and flitting around the house, hunting down her basketball shoes... the next she's angry, lazy and saying i just feel so sad, so sad... Unlike us adults, though, she doesn't have the vocabulary to recognize it for what it is. It's just a scary, ugly thing looming from around some dark corner.

Were i only able to take away her hurt, to rip this shroud of clouds off the sky and let the sun and warmth in. I would wallow in it with her -- both of us lying in the grass on the side of the house, paying no heed to the dog walkers, the speedy delivery trucks, the stares of our well-meaning nosy neighbors...


Rebs said...

we're struggling with this in our family as well. My 8-yr old can be found curled up in a ball, saying only 'i'm so sad and i don't know why'. Am repeatedly subjecting her to a special lamp whenever she's still long enough to soak it in.

Nico said...

Long time no see Rebs!
A lamp sounds like a good idea. Trying to force the liquid Vitamin D around here. In Portland the lack of sunlight makes our "happy vitamin" levels plummet...

Jack said...

Just dropped by to wish my old friend a joyous Christmas and a safe and happy new year. I sincerely hope 2014 turns out to be a year you remember for all the right reasons!

All the best,
~ Jack