Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

The Trial of Andrea Yates

That’s all I thought about, she said to him,
Of killing. Constant thoughts of drowning five
Children in her bathtub. Her mind’s unwell,
A unique case of postpartum depression,
The jury said.

Her doctor disagreed.

He testified his views—she meant to kill
Each one. She was deliberate;


Her interview was used as evidence.
He explained that, during questioning, Yates
Expressed no thoughts of motherhood, regret,
Or grief; only desires of being free.

And as the jury deemed her not guilty—


Her poignant voice stuck in his ears like wax,
A constant hum, that’s all I thought about.

Tina Vorreyer


Tina Vorreyer, graduate of Lawrence University (Appleton, WI), received her BA in Theatre Arts. She’s been published in three anthologies, Lingering Memories, Wisconsin’s Best Emerging Poets (Z Publishing), Watch for Broken Glass, Illinois’ Best Emerging Poets (Z Publishing) and Scrabble, America’s Emerging Poets 2018 (Z Publishing).

© 2019