Monday, February 21, 2005

"When Even The Devil Deserts You"

(This poem first appeared in print in 1991.)

by ed cooper
I have a thousand faces,
And I am found in all races.
Sometimes rich,
Sometimes poor,
Sometimes young,
Sometimes old.
I am a person with the disabling pain,
of a broken brain.
You have names for my pain,
like schizophrenia,
bipolar disorder,
and major depression.
Some of you refer to me as crazy or insane.
The real fact is most of you don't refer to me at all.
You want me locked away out of sight,
But my only crime is my shattered mind.
I understand why you don't want to look into a darkened soul,
Because I cry when I am forced to make the journey.
Do you know the hurt I feel,
When I look into my family's faces and see their fear?
Fear of me and what I have become.
I try to tell them I will not hurt them
And to explain it is not their fault.
I try to reach out to them to ease their sorrow,
But I fail to be a comfort,
Because I cannot hide the agony of my soul.
I fight the demons of depression and despair.
I search for a solace for my soul.
I want my mind mended,
But you must understand that a broken brain,
Is more than mere mechanical failure.
It has many causes I am told.
It may be hereitary,
Or environmental.
I don't know for sure what causes it,
But I know what it causes.
It causes the total destruction of your inner self.
It fragments you.
It makes you seek an end even if that means death.
You seek the end because you see not only what it has done to you,
But what it is doing to the ones you love.
The fear of death fades,
Because to a large degree you already feel dead.
You are not able to interact with others,
Nor are people willing to interact with you as they once did.
In fact,
It feels like you have fallen so low
Even the devil has deserted you.
I ask you,
Where do you turn When Even the Devil Deserts You?
To therapy?
It helps but only touches part of me.
To medications?
They too help but only partly.
Is there a path to a place,
That will touch all of me,
And not just mend my broken brain,
But touch the untouchable.
I once heard of such a path.
It was written about,
But my mind wanders so much I find it hard to read.
It has been spoken of,
But I hear so many voices I don't know which to follow.
If you know the path,
Would you please find me?
I may be in a hospital.
I may be on the streets.
I may be at home.
Please find me and take me into your arms.
Hold me there until we find the path,
That leads into the arms of the One,
Not afraid to touch the untouchable.
Please find my family too,
For their pain is as great as mine.
I may not be able to understand the written word,
Or even the words spoken to me.
I may not seem to know where I am,
But I will know the warmth I feel,
When you gently put your arms around me.
I will once again know I am loved.

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