Lauren H. White is teacher, writer and advocate for mental healing. She received her B.A. in English and Master of Arts in Teaching from Covenant College on Lookout Mountain, GA. 

Lauren’s greatest joys are hiking, yoga and her five-year-old daughter Marion. She has begun to venture beyond collegiate publication (The Thorn 2009 and 2010, under her maiden name). She’s one of eleven artists featured in ELLA Library’s Reflections on Generosity and Thanks: A Collection of Poems. She’s also written about mental health for The Mighty, and poetry for Fathom and The Mudroom

Lauren’s voice exposes the roots of grief and growth, the moment anguish deepens hope. You can connect with her on Facebook at Lauren H White @deephealbipolar and on Instagram, her favorite share space, @healbipolarandbeyond.

The following piece was written in response to acts of racial violence perpetuated during the spring and summer of 2020. Since its conception, I have learned the danger of equating or equalizing different kinds of suffering, especially suffering in which I am more witness than victim. I have mental illness, but I am not a person of color. I have been subject to social discrimination and injustice in the healthcare system, but I don’t fear for my life every time I leave my home.

I need to listen far more than I speak. Please forgive my self-centric heart. I have a lot to learn. When you read this, look to the beauty that remains: our dignity and our lament. We have made, and we will bear. Our daughters will weep too.


Litany for Our Daughters


Baby girl, don’t sleep now.
Keep them eyes awake.
Keep your ears a-listening,
Loud enough to break.
Now’s no time for tremble-hiding.
You got war and time for crying.
Dream the Dream and keep on flying:
‘Til you feel Earth quake.


Open alabaster eyes
And see your mama drain,
Breathing death daily, dye in her lungs.
We’ve swallowed pills,
Offered our arms to injections,
And still the mind shatters, joints swollen, skin flakes.
Our children, if born, wail without nursing,
For our breasts can’t sustain with the drugs in our veins.


Open curled ebony ears
And hear your mama’s pain,
Bleeding death daily, hounded and hung.
We’ve swallowed kills,
Offered our thighs to subjections,
And still the welts fester, fears hinder, skin bakes.
Our children, if born, die without justice,
For our love can’t protect from the wolves at the reins.


When you’re grown, you’ll realize

Grief will flow like water.
When you’re grown, you’ll realize
Tears have known you, daughter.


Sometimes a trickle, thin sliver of rain.
Sometimes a breaker slams knees to grit’s grain.


Sometimes a drink in the stars shows the way.
Sometimes a hurricane flattens the hay.


So baby girl, don’t quit now.
Keep them eyes awake.
Keep your ears a-listening,
Soft enough to break.
Now’s no time to be caught sleeping.
You got peace and time for weeping.
Keep on praying long as reaping
‘Til the Heavens shake.





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