Try To Understand

When I am angry and I’m feeling down
I may not show that I will want your hand,
But, of all the things I need around
for me, it’s that you’ll try to understand.

If there is no expression in my face
I’m pale and wan and don’t look very well,
please don’t dismiss, give me a little grace.
Sometime I’ll have my own tale to tell

I have a personality, a life
that is vibrant, classy and talented
eloquent and undoubtedly the life
and spirit of the ball. That being said,

my designer mask, this joyless veneer
is like a painting, crazed with toil and time;
a changed visage, then only to appear
without a reason, so much less a rhyme

to take the mantle, and ever so much more,
the burdens of a world that weigh me
down and down, toward that darkest shore,
where there’s no solace, despite your sympathy.

So when I’m angry and I’m feeling down,
I may not show that I will want your hand,
but I want you always to be around
for me and that you’ll try to understand.

(View the author’s commentary on this poem)

© 2009 John Anstie

9 Responses to Try To Understand

  1. david tidd says:

    A wonderful piece of work, something I am sure many of us can relate to, thankyou


  2. I am in this piece. I once feel down the rabbit hole Robin Williams couldn’t climb out of. Your writing expresses so eloquently the need to reach out, be there for someone who is battling the demons of depression.


    • PoetJanstie says:

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Susie. Whilst it is not my best poetry, it is more than gratifying that at least I understand the response that is required of the one who is observing this debilitating condition. It was my son who the subject of the poem, who, incidentally is now married, has his own son and is about to graduate – after a radical career change – as a psychiatric nurse! That I am proud is an understatement :). And you too have made it through. Doesn’t it give you so much insight? It certainly has lent my son a considerable insight that academics and practitioners of psychiatry, who haven’t suffered from the illness, will never have.


  3. thelinnet1 says:

    I really like this. I felt traces of a very male perspective as I read, I can imagine my husband sometimes thinking & feeling as your first & last stanza describe.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂



  4. Great bit of writing lad and I can relate to a lot of it.


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