Despair on a Once-Smiling Face

It kills me, his brokenness.

It gags me, it beats me and murders me

To see him so hunched over and spent.

He stands straining on the mountaintops of his mind,

An Atlas with the world on his shoulders,

And even though I say,

“Put it down, it’s not your burden to bear,”

He doesn’t believe me.

He would rather take a blood-streaked back


Accept the weakness of trusting.

*   *   *

I want to look him in the eyes and ask,

Who did this to you?

Who took your soul and crushed it

In between their calloused fingers?

Was it God?

Was it the demons in the dark corners

Of your own mind?

Why, dearest one, did you allow the nails to be

Driven through your hands?

I raise my face to the heavens and ask the questions,

But the answers are never enough to

Satisfy me.

*   *   *

I have heard the song his broken heart

Weeps through the shattered windows

Between us, and

It destroys me.

The way the monotonous notes drag on and on

In a damning lullaby that finds me

In my nightmares and

Leaves me screaming.

Lord, save me.

He haunts me and he’s





4 thoughts on “Despair on a Once-Smiling Face

  1. Natalie,

    I see myself in this poem. That is, I see the man I used to be- untrusting, seeking to control all around me, judging others and most harshly myself. But I set myself free. I stopped judging and resisting. Stopped raging against the world. Found strength in the quiet and sure sense of self.

    You are a writer of unbridled emotion and honesty. (I’m with “shrinksarentcheap” on this.) Keep writing from your heart in this way. It’s a staggeringly powerful thing.


    1. Tom,

      Again, you leave me speechless.

      My purpose in writing is to impact people; each piece I write is a direct result of that desire. Your words have given me a great sense of fulfillment – and for that, I thank you.

      It is the mark of an accomplished mind to accept what one once was and to have the courage to change. I deeply admire the way you have come from a mindset of despair to one of such peace and self-awareness. In my opinion, that is how the strongest people are made.

      Thank you again for your kind words. It is the most perfect form of inspiration.


Thoughts? I love those.

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