This is chemo

Poem by 
Jeff Hays
Published 
February 4, 2021

This is chemo

Life races around us

But here tonight

It is very slow.

I listen to her labored breath

She is not fighting,

She is healing.

And it is hard.

Soon she’ll wake.

She’ll apologize for being tired.

She’ll ask me what I need.

I know this.

It is who she is.

“I don’t need anything baby, just you.”

But for now,

She rests, she heals.

They push her to the edge, as far as they can.

Her body rebels, and they back off-just a bit.

It’s the best we can do, right now.

In a week, she’ll be almost normal.

Just a little less.

We make small gains, a notch at a time.

The chemo extracts its price

It demands its fee.

And so she pays,

With gratitude

For this precious day of life.

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