by Holly Day

when I first began to feel my mind slip
I told my mother, she said
there were ways to hide my problem
make lists, schedules
turn myself into a functional robot
and it would pass.

when it got worse, I told my husband
he said, you can’t do this
remember you’re a mother
we’re all depending on you.
he said if I went nuts
he would leave

and so I spent my children’s youth
stumbling from one drugged haze to another
test-running medications that made
my fingers twitch, my skin itch
checking off my daily duties
on lists made the night before.

when I first began to feel my mind slip
I longed to be locked away
in some meadow-surrounded provincial madhouse
like the ones I had seen on TV.
it was only until I was older
trapped in domestic bliss
that I realized real people
don’t get that kind of break.

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