Poetry by Kate Strauss

there are some emotions that are always crippling

Crippling Anxiety.

Crippling Depression.

Crippling Loneliness.

like thugs on the bad side of town,

having a night out with their bats,

and bam,

the knock your legs out from under you knock the breath out of you



until you can’t walk,

only crawl.

but these thugs,

have only begun.

they start shouting slurs.

they step on your hands and break your fingers,

they decide to all stand on your back,

until your ribs give out and you feel completely

one with the concrete

you have to give up,

you want to give up,

you’re crippled.

Crippling Depression is the leader of the gang.

He’s always cold and wears every piece of clothing he’s found on the street.

three dirty, dusty jackets, each one more beat up than the next.

one pair of too big basketball shorts over ripped, blackened jeans.

two hats, three earmuffs, and a few pairs of gloves.

he hasn’t showered in months,

and, in fact, looks like he’s purposefully wiped mud on his face and hands

to prove a point that he doesn’t care-at all.

Although he’s cold,

he never wears socks,

or ties his shoes.

He just can’t be bothered.

Crippling Anxiety, comes second round the corner

jittery, and skinny. You almost want to buy him a drink,

get him a bump. You feel almost bad for him until

you realize

he’s peed himself many times in the past few days

and hasn’t bothered to find new pants

and he’s the type of man,

you’d think,

has many other pairs of pants.

He has nice clothes.

At least from TJ Maxx.

They are wrinkled in ways you’ve never seen clothes wrinkled.

His pants have creases where they’re tight in the thighs-

his shirt has been starched, yet somehow has wrinkles in the collar,

it seems actually skillful that someone is this crumpled up.

His eyes are small and his hair is buzzed.

You wouldn’t dare look him in the eye,

but don’t worry,

he won’t either.

Crippling Loneliness closes the pack off.

He’s heavy, with dark craters under his eyes,

accompanying craters and pot marks of pimples that have been picked

on his cheeks and chin.

His body seems to have grown around where his arms stay

crossed over his chest.

His expression is pretty empty, and there aren’t any wrinkles or marks

on his face to give any sort of map that he’s ever lifted his eyebrows

or moved his mouth to the side to copy some sort of smile.

As they round the corner.

It’s easy, for one half-a-second,

to pity them.

Until they pull

a bat,

a muzzle,

and a pocket knife

out from behind their backs.

You welcome the pain that’s bound to come

with open arms.

It’s the most action you’ve been a part of

in months.

And the boys?

They get to feel useful

for a few minutes

until they cripple themselves right after.

Depression always goes after Loneliness,

and Loneliness grabs Anxiety,

while Anxiety holds Depression’s hands behind his back.

So you can army crawl away,

until they somehow find you

the next day.

Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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