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How Do You Explain Mental Illness to a Child? This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Evanston, IL
I wonder
What’s going on
In my little brother’s head.
Because, how do you explain mental illness
To a child?
Six years old.
He knows to much
About life and death
And he’s seen it all in his
Big sister’s dull black eyes.

How do you explain mental illness to a child?
Destroying an innocence
Too young to count,
Too young to read,
Too young to understand.

I wonder
What is spinning and whizzing on
In my little brother’s head
While I’m here in the ER,
Psych ward four times,
To many medications to remember
Every morning and night.

How do you explain mental illness to a child?
You say
Your sister’s sick.
She’ll be back soon.
She’ll be okay.
We just have to pray.

You say
She’s very Ill.
She’s just going away for a bit.
Don’t you worry.
She’ll be fine.

How do you explain mental illness to a child?
Basically,
You don’t.



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