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The Quiet Ones

A commentary on depression

By Laura LannPublished 8 months ago 2 min read
The Quiet Ones
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I’ll go marching to the river with pail in hand

A bucket to separate the crystal from sand,

I’ll smile when the wind blows

And when daylight’s hour goes.

You are there, a sharp foot to kick

To dodge, yet you are quick.

I’ll carry this water home, to mother’s stove

Water to heat safely in our brick alcove.

But, you creep inside through a crack in the floor

Guess it matters not if there’s a lock on the door.

Over the fire you lean, to gather ashes in your skirt

Then over to me you walk, to sprinkle me with dirt

The soot of coals. It burns my skin

It’s far too hot. My dress too thin.

So, I pardon this rash mistake.

Surely you didn’t mean to make.

I’ll go to town in morning’s dew

With a list of things to do.

Behind you walk, your steps so loud

There you stay as I slip the crowd.

The rancid streets are empty to the road

No market calls, just the croaking toad.

I’ll carry my pail to the river,

Then back home to deliver.

I like the wet and rain

Like winter’s brittle pain.

But, I think not to like your feet as they find

The softer edges of my mind.

Thrice to me you dare attack

Not once have I struck back.

Home we go, far now you’re my shadow

To mother we go, as you seek battle.

Next day comes and off I must go

Far the pail is empty and steps slow.

I reach the river and you do kick,

You’re mind so broken and sick.

I’ll bash your skull with a stick,

Because I am far too quick.

The blood sadly splatters

Yet it hardly matters

If it sings the song you scream.

Some things you can’t redeem.

I’ll break your neck and stomp your foot

That dared to kick and sprinkle soot.

I toss you into river red,

Watch white halo of dead.

I’ll scoop the water, now rose.

Dear child, remember how it goes

When I call out, “Enough.”

As you hear silence erupt.


I do not usually explain my poems, but given the nature of this one, I think it must be explained and a disclaimer offered. While my character's actions are extreme, they are meant to serve as symbolism and not an exact commentary. I do not condone violence of any kind towards others or towards yourself. The bully in this particular story is actually meant to be the shadow of depression clinging to and harming the girl. It disrupts her daily life and no one else is able to see it. Of course, she conquers it at the end, but it is a violent overcoming and not an easy task.

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About the Creator

Laura Lann

I am an author from deep East Texas with a passion for horror and fantasy, often heavily mixed together. In my spare time, when I am not writing, I draw and paint landscape and fantasy pieces. I now reside in Alaska where adventures await.

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Comments (7)

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  • Dana Crandell8 months ago

    Thanks to your subtitle, I recognized the intent as I read this. It's a perfect description of battling depression and eventually emerging victorious. Well done!

  • Mother Combs8 months ago

    very good

  • Teresa Renton8 months ago

    Skilfully crafted personification of depression. Your imagery created vivid pictures in my mind 😍

  • You perfectly portrayed depression in your poem. It was very relatable!

  • Jenny Huynh8 months ago

    Nicely written

  • A. Lenae8 months ago

    I love your explanation at the end, as overcoming depression is an undertaking and can be brutal and ugly but how empowering too!! Love your language in this. "But, I think not to like your feet as they find The softer edges of my mind." That depression is so cunning and harmful. What an elegant tale and then a call to arms, it seems! Beautiful poem.

  • L.C. Schäfer8 months ago

    That went in an unexpected direction! 😮

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