“This is why”: a Poem of Withdrawal

J.A. Carter-Winward
Published in
2 min readMay 10, 2022


This is why

The vitamins & essential minerals
outnumber the other pills, now.
But the other pills both control &

threaten the horror, the inner-rest-
still — ticking time bombs. A
constant & menacing promise to take over

everything, eating away at the soft, fleshy
bits inside. The taper: Cutting, scoring,
forgetting, forging ahead, stoic, a mess, back-

sliding, meltdowns, getting up again —
all confined within my lost what-could-
story had they

not cajoled, seduced, & bullied me
into that simper — that docile state
of yes, I am this. I must be this. In the

palm of my hand, the healthier
supplements overshadow — in size alone —
one evil brain-chain drug, one of the last

to go — that will go, make no mistake. So
small & innocuous looking, it slid out of my
palm, in between my weary, trembling,

needing-rest fingers — it slid & fell
& then & then
& then & then & then

after 8 wrenching hours of non-sleep,
when demons inside had violated
every inch of me — enough

sheets burning my skin as it tried to
crawl off my muscles and
bones — enough

body juddering in the dark scream,
hot pokers resting
in between — ENOUGH.

This morning we found it — the
small, pink offender, on the bathroom
rug, innocuous — as I’d said — missed,

untaken, & the sweat cooled on
my skin, but I didn’t shiver. The
inner tremors shook with a new

purpose — I am not getting well
because of this. I am getting well
in spite of this —

& then & then & then & then
& then & then & then
& then

one day, when its evil, invisible talons
fully disentangle from my brain’s
gyri & sulcus, I’ll hiss the

truth into its placid, scored &
etched surface — No. I am
not this. I was never this.

You are this.
You are
the sickness.

You are this SICK.

©j.a. carter-winward



J.A. Carter-Winward

J.A. Carter-Winward, an award-winning poet & novelist. Author site, https://www.jacarterwinward.com/ , blog: https://writeinblood.com/ Facebook and Youtube