Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
Cindy Sostchen, Poetry Editor
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In this issue we highlight the poetry of Nancy A. Cayton. These poems not only document a day in the life of Ms. Cayton, but mirror the feelings of many of us at certain points in our lives. While these poems evidence the fact that illness can make us feel unable to cope with everyday living (or sadly, like something is missing), there is also hope contained within the lines-a plea to "carry on" despite those negative feelings.


By Nancy A. Cayton

What have we here?
In the Land of broken toys?
I've heard that birds of a
Feather flock together.
Even as girls and boys
We learn to share our hearts
And tell how it made us
Stronger, and how we won't
Go through this again any longer.
At points in our lives,
We grow much too fast
And painfully ask the question,
How long will the nightmare Last?
in the land of the broken toys,
We accept the missing parts.
And, cast a bounty of compassion
To search for each other by
Tenderly healing our hearts.
For us adults, girls and boys,
We keep loving and hoping
And searching
For the land of broken toys.

Living With Mental Illness

By Nancy A. Cayton

Pardon me if I don't smile today.
You see, I'm depressed and sometimes
it makes me feel that way.
Other times I become afraid and I
Go hide in the shadows until
The fear goes away.
Going outside and taking a walk
Sometimes takes a lot out of me
Just living from day to day doesn't
Come easily,
But, please don't think because of that,
That I don't have feelings
Or that I don't care.
Because if you look close enough,
I can assure you that there is a person
In here.
Pardon me if I ask a favor of you.
I want to do all of that nice stuff.
Really, I do.
Sometimes, I feel sad and empty inside
So… I would like to ask you if you
Could do all of those nice things
For me, and maybe after watching
You for awhile,
I might become strong enough to do
Those things, in my own personal style.
Of things that are difficult for me to do,
I have a long list.
It's hard to live life to the fullest,
When you're living with mental illness.


By Nancy A. Cayton

The prevalent task of silence
The ones, the malevolent war
The lenient injustice of procrastinating
Of knowing, truly knowing one's self.
Seek it out, it's there, it really is.
Once you find it, don't look back.
Keep building on to it.
You're given the master of your destiny.
The ingredients? They're all inside
Of you.
Seek every direction inside and out.
Utilize your chosen options.
The substance of your existing
Are the keys
Now drive on. You are strong.
You can tolerate reality.
You can overcome.
We've been waiting for you.
You are welcome.
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