Oh, I'm aware. Too aware.
I wore my bright colors, my orange and golds,
the big yellow hat, closet greens unrolled.
I walked as a billboard to questions and stares,
promoting the week in the way that I dared.
I dared, but soon noticed that not all yet believe
the idea of ‘mental ‘ should be loud or be seen.
Loud or allowed, or improperly bold,
outside of the box, escaping the mold.
Is it mental when it cannot be contained,
the idea controlled or conventionally sane?
Must we still plan to hide it somewhere back at home
and speak in the whispers of those left alone?
I dress for the manic, depressed, and confused
from the depths of their struggle to the heights they don't choose
and their families who live while covering tracks
of self-medications, missed parties and grads.
Mental Health is as tidy as its Illness is raw,
one carefully speaks, the other guffaws.
One politely sits through a serious play
while the other with darkness sleeps day after day.
One tries to keep the other subdued,
and tries at a distance not to be rude,
but the lady in lavender still speaks to the street,