Once upon a time:
Depression came, arrived from nowhere, eager for new adventure, hung clothes from her suitcase in my closet, prepared for an extended stay. She claimed the jetted tub, took long baths sipping from a glass of merlot, surrounded by lavender candles. I entertained her for awhile, fed her ripe blackberries, honeyed oats with vanilla almond milk, toast leaking butter and peach jam, organic eggs with sunny faces, moist thick wedges of devil’s food cake—my self respect. She promised to stay only a little while. Two years later, she remained. I protested, demanded she leave. Crocodile tears welled in her eyes, her bottom lip quivered. I relented. Her name is on the mailbox now. She answers my phone, refuses to take a message, controls the TV remote, determines what we eat for dinner. She sits beside me on the sofa, sleeps next to me in bed, snoring softly, stares at my neighbors from the curtained window in the bedroom (self-induced paranoia), follows me when I’m running, huffing and puffing, fuchsia hot pants ablaze in the midmorning sun. She crawls inside my mouth, gagging me. She’s here to stay. I suppose I’m to blame. I opened the door, let her in.
Janna Vought is a poet, nonfiction, and fiction writer with more than 50 pieces published in various magazines and literary journals and four books of poetry. She graduated from American Public University with a bachelor’s degree in English and from Lindenwood University with an MFA in creative writing. She is an Association of Writing Professionals Intro Journals Project in Poetry nominee for 2013.
Janna is married and the mother of two daughters, the eldest who suffers from chronic mental and developmental illnesses.