“The Mental Prison”

Henry Lynch’s poem “The Mental Prison” is a journey through the author’s battle with loneliness and feeling trapped within himself. Read more below.

The Mental Prison

Henry Lynch

I’m different from my peers,
I don’t think the same way,
When they run, I walk,
When they’re quiet, I talk,
And I question why I do it every day.

I was not a sad child,
I was just a bit demure,
People asked, “Is he sad?”
Which always made me mad,
And I don’t want to be asked any more.

I don’t care if I’m accepted,
Like so many kids do,
But since one cannot be changed,
He who is self-estranged,
Then what must I get through?

Sometimes I feel like I’m falling,
a fear I dread and dread,
I feel like I’m alone,
In a place dark and unknown,
But I know it’s all in my head.

Dumb, ugly, overweight,
I feel weighed down by these names,
These thoughts snake all around
and they hold me to the ground.
I am stricken by these pains.

Yet deep within my body,
lodged somewhere in my head,
Is a thought so foul,
It would make anyone howl,
It is my darkest fear: dread.

It keeps me from expressing
how I really feel,
And no matter what I try,
It only makes me cry,
And I’m trapped, unable to heal.

And like a wound untreated,
I fester like a sore,
And sore I am,
For with every exam,
I want the pain to stop more and more.

But what good would come from ending it all?
To seal my wounds with eternal sleep?
Though your tears may pass,
as you thus succumb to the grass,
It’s now your parents’ turn to weep.

A quick short simple life,
A cursory glance at what may be,
But you want no more,
As life is a chore,
So like an autumn leaf, you lie below a tree.

And this is what fear can do,
It’s the most vile of its kind,
It can put a frog in your throat,
and a crocodile in the moat,
around the walls that seal off your mind.

But what is most important,
Is not if you fit in,
It’s that even in the dark,
there’s is always a spark,
for those that want to begin, not give in.

Begin what you ask?
Begin to ease the pains,
That restrain you so,
And one day you’ll know,
The way to sever your chains.

But there is a silver lining,
To every sad tale,
I’ve struggled a lot,
And internally fought,
So that my sanity will not fail.

For I like this life,
And do not wish it to end,
I will come to terms with my fears,
And after many, many years,
I will call my fears my friends



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