Under the Influence of Depression: Group Meetings


We signed a confidentiality agreement,

so, if you think you know us

you really don’t!



medicating, and



You said, “I’m depressed.”

How depressed are you?

“I am so depressed

I cannot go one minute

without saying I’m depressed.”


Climb out of your foxhole.

Attend one more meeting.

We are all depressed.



contemplating, and



We have problems,

not fake ones,

but real problems.


We can’t get out

We can’t get out

Get out of the hole

Get out of the hole





Heaving, and



Three pills a day,

just three makes

the blues go away.


Who helps us?

Who helps us?

Who helps us?


Flat broke

smacks us

in the face,

but we were once:



Big Shot,


Supervisor, and

Head of the rodeo


What did you say?

Your mother wants you back

the way you used to be.




One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,

and crazy,

Who said that?


dumb ass.


We don’t want to be depressed.

We’ll just snap out of it!


The Blue Marble


My sister stole a blue marble 

from a Chinese Checker’s game,

glued it on the lid of a Popsicle-stick box,


Made one-word-sheets of 

paper, tore them in to pieces,

stuffed better-day dreams inside.


No one cares. Not one bit at all.

Go mumble to yourself, 

look outside through bars,

watch Soap Operas all day,

make a gimp for your sister, but

do not open a locked door.


When my sister said:

“I’m going to kill myself.”

Our father said:

“I don’t give a fuck. Kill yourself.

Get the fuck out of here.”


How the knife got back in the drawer

before she shimmied next to me in bed,

I do not know,

but I died a hundred deaths.


About the Poet

Denise Sedman is an award-winning poet from the Detroit area. Recent work has been featured in San Pedro River Review, New Verse News, Nassau Review, Gravel Literary and Poets Reading the News. She has a poem in the 2017 Nasty Women Poets anthology by Lost Horse Press. Her signature poem, “Untitled,” was the source for architect students at University of Detroit Mercy to build a temporary environment in Detroit. The original poem was featured in Abandon Automobile, Wayne State University Press, 2001.