Even When You’re Drowning


i lost years
with my favorite uncle,
but they still want
a stigma centering around
mental health;

to brush it beneath the rug
as if feelings and lives don’t matter
but they always have and will—
i will never see him sell his
art online or speak to him about
life or his paintings or sculptures,
all i know is that i never knew
his pain until he was gone;

like me he buried it all inside—
and so i try to do better,
but i hate asking for help;

so i shoulder most of my sorrows
reminding myself of better days to come
because no one wants to hear that you’re suffering
they all want to know “you’re fine”;

even when a part of you is drowning
beneath things outside of your control.

-linda m. crate

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