No – A Poem

Today I came within one word of,

Being committed to a psych ward.

If I’d just said,


Instead of no,

I would find myself in a hospital.

A cold, calculating prison,

Putting my physical state finally,

In the same place as my mind.

My mind is a jail;

It is a hold up where I’m being held,

Hostage to my own thoughts.

If I’d said that,


I’ve thought about it.


I have the means.


It’s probably better that David took my pills with him,

That night and still,

Hasn’t given them back,

Then yes.

I would be in a psych ward,

My thoughts finally winning in their fight,

To capture me,

Enslave me,

Kick me down and kill me.

But I said no.

While I know how I would do it,

I said no.

No, because I’m living now,

And I want desperately to live.

I told her no because yes,

Yes was a surrender.

The alternative is unacceptable.

Yes is reserved for when my mind wins,

And my mind can’t win.

Everyday I struggle to hide this battle.

I put on a mask,

I fix my makeup and dry my eyes,

I tell my counselor,


I’m not suicidal.

Because me, I’m not.

I want to live, but my mind,

That’s a different story.

My mind has been trying to murder me since I was 12,

And my sister got sick,

Or I was 16 and I was gay,

Or I was 17 and I was raped,

Or I was 20 and I almost got drugged,

And stuck in the back of some guy’s car,

But still it was an almost.

My mind fights dirty,

But I’ve always managed to make a daring last minute escape.

Just when I feel like I can no longer breathe,

I fight my way to the surface and suck in a breath of air,

Only to be sabotaged by my head.

A bullet comes whizzing by and I manage to duck.

The train comes barreling toward me and somehow

Somehow I get my hands loose and untie my bonds.

I jump off the tracks only to see the train collide with the air where

My body was just seconds ago.

And I’m not in a psych ward

Because the answer was


I don’t want to die.


~Kayla Shea Rdesinski


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