Darkness Visible – Robert G. Wertzler

Girl is sixteen
Girl is Heroin addict
Girl is in rehab
Girl was saved by Narcan
From intentional OD
Girl hears a song
For the first time

“Darkness, Darkness, be my pillow,

Take my head and let me sleep
In the coolness of your shadow,

In the silence of your deep
Darkness, darkness, hide my yearning,

For the things I cannot see
Keep my mind from constant turning,

To the things I cannot be
Darkness, darkness, be my blanket,

Cover me with the endless night
Take away the pain of knowing,

Fill the emptiness with light
Emptiness with light now”*

Her darkness visible

Flowing down

Her cheeks

*”Darkness, Darkness”, by Jesse Colin Young, The Youngbloods, 1969


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

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