Attention Deficit

Focus for
us was a thing hard to
come by. We would have to make due with

we had: these
were pills and a pencil,
blue earplugs to block out the voices
inside of

our heads, which
would tell us time passed and
these thoughts that would shine like soft lights on
our brains would

one day fade
into invisible
relief. We would write in our binders,
pass classes,

allow for
a moment of grief. We
were deeply aware we would have to
make up for

lost time, but
when we took our pills, the
world would seem fine, seem as if it had
always been

fine. Once we
had adequate supplies
we’d sell, but until then we decid-
ed to re-

fill. We had
determined that we would
not brood. Instead we charted out our
moods and light-

ened up our
loads. Before the rest of
time unfolds, we would like to hold on-
to this life,

feel like it’s
beating, there, deep inside
of our chests, not out of fear. We are
just children.


Copyright © 2014 by Katy Lederer. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“This poem is ‘about’ (as in, existing in a kind of intellectual and emotional proximity to) what its title suggests: ADHD. While working on my current, third collection, The Engineers, I was interested in using form mimetically. Here, I use syllabics and a resultant, automated enjambment to create various attention effects.”
Katy Lederer