Poem Portal #40: How Can I Help You?

This song is from me the very mature teenager to my youngest sister. To read this now, you’d think I was in my forties struggling to see across the generation gap. But I was something like seventeen or eighteen years old, and my sister was ten or eleven.

My youngest sister was very social in school and went through a phase of being a bit lethargic with all her friends out of town during the summer holidays. Or so we assumed was the cause of her summer blues. My parents were a little paranoid about depression (history of it on both sides of the family) and I do remember hearing them talk about whether or not their youngest daughter needed anti-depressants. She didn’t, but just having that thought in my brain at the time might be one of the reasons this song is so dramatic.

My sister works at a bank now. She just got engaged and she’s considering a honeymoon in England. She is very happy. Here’s what her worry wart big sister wrote about her many years ago.



Chorus: How can I help you?

What can I do?

I don’t wanna leave you feeling so blue.

But your life is younger and I don’t know if I can

Understand how you suffer.

Verse: I know that sorrow can come without cause,

’Cause sorrow is forceful and follows no laws,

Who am I to say that you cry for no reason?

I just can’t know why.

Verse: Is it something that my words can change?

Or is it a battle that’s out of my range?

I can’t just stand by, feeling so helpless,

Yet maybe that’s all I can do.

Verse: My head’s in the clouds and they fog up my sight,

Can’t see how you struggle every day and night,

Someday you’ll join me up here where it’s safer,

But now you are stranded below.

Verse: I can speculate and analyze,

Explain your feelings with logic and lies,

But am I powerless to know what is real?

I just can’t reach you.

Verse: I live a life that revolves around me,

Selfish as any other person can be,

Will I start caring when it’s too late to help you?

Or is that already true?

By jcmlott