Song of position and momentum

She walks on 103 avenue.
There is a melancholy to her gait.
A dog that gets her plods beside.
When everything is perfect like this
how can she get to the nub of her depression?

Yesterday she heard a song
that made her feel
as though she had found everything.

Today she heard a song
that made her feel
as though she had lost everything.

Listen, she says to no one,
except her dog,
it’s the same song.



  1. Stephen,
    I just read this after having come from a very difficult and emotional conversation with a student who has recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. His painful description of the day to day swings and his sense of embarrassment (I know, he shouldn’t feel this but does) was heart-wrenching coming from someone so young. Having been in education for some time now, I have had many students who suffer from depression, or are dealing with some form of coping with family issues, or whatever. But it is never easy to see someone coming to grips with the fact that something is wrong. So reading this poem, as you can imagine, was quite timely.

    I also believe very much in the therapeutic value of dogs! Your poem made me go back to an old blog post of mine about a therapeutic walk in the woods with my dog.

    Thanks. Somehow, when I read your writing, it has a profound effect on me.

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