The Alchemy of Survival

Ann Wallace

Ann Wallace


The science was there,
in the chemo cocktail that dripped
into me for 5 days each month,
a regimen my body bucked
and fought until the drugs won.

I grew strong, learned to see the world
anew in the light refracted
off the shards of my weary soul.

And I fell sick again. And again.
Each time, I tinkered, trying to spark
an ember from basest of metals, dark
and lifeless, until the smallest flare
of hope caught fire and I bent over,
cupped my hands around the flame
and blew gently until it danced.

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