Before the darkness crept in,
Before the voices whispered,
Before the demons lurked in every corner.
Kind, compassionate, caring.
All manner of “C” sounds to describe you then.
They describe you now still,
It first manifested,
Ceaseless, complex, cacophonic.
Your diary read “I can’t take this,”
And you hit your mother with a wrench,
Or so you thought.
Meal time was spent on the porch,
Inside the house, siblings laughed.
Inside your head, something laughed too.
Aunty took one look and said it,
A cruel, careless word.
The word of a trained nurse:
Dad was scared to death.
You were 3 years older than him,
What if he caught the loony gene too?
Oh God, what if they all did?
A trip to Ohio was supposed to set you straight.