Depression follows at my heels like a three-headed dog
Each Western Pennsylvania fall, when thick gray clouds come,
Hunker down in the treetops, and stay and stay and stay.
Early on, still new to being shadowed, I was afraid
To stay alone with it; cried nights, knowing in the dim light of day
The dog would bare its teeth again. Many seasons later,
I’ve come to admire its dogged faithfulness (how it returns unbidden),
Come to welcome the familiar black bulk of it, a temporary stay
Against the shades of death. I’ve mastered fear. “Good dog,”
I say. “Come,” I command, “my precious guard dog. Now stay.”

Published in the Loyalhanna Review 2017

A poem from NaPoWriMo 2016. The day 7 prompt was to write a tritina: three, three-line stanzas and a final concluding line, with the same three end words for each final line—ABC, CAB, BCA—and all three end words appearing in the final line. I changed the line breaks afterwards. The poem was inspired by Winston Churchill’s describing his depression as a small black dog that nipped at his heels.

Peace to your ! Especially if you suffer from any kind of depression.