Paper Cuts by Maria Oglesby


Depression hits everyone different

For some, it’s a gut punch
I have a friend who is shattered by it. Every year when ice coats the ground and the heater goes
tck tck tck she lies fragile as frost, unable to get out of bed without breaking.

For me, it’s a paper cut.

You can go to work with a paper cut.

Sometimes, when you hold it closed, you can’t even remember you have one.

You don’t need to see a doctor for a paper cut

You can wrap it up

And usually, that helps.

But sometimes, there are too many to wrap.

When life sours, the lemon-juice sting of anxiety opens all the old ones up with a pang I can’t ignore.

I wonder sometimes

Would you have to see a doctor if you had a thousand paper cuts?

What about 50?

What about five?

A cut for each friend left behind (a drop in a well I float above

A cut for the frantic background buzz of desperation

A cut for failure, each road in life a detour over a path uncrossed

A cut for the guilt that gnaws at my gut for each time my hungry temper bites

A cut for the children I might never be able to have

Where do you draw the line?

When does a paper cut become a wound