Alchemy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
The people who have come before us serve as the ones we look up to. Often, they are our grandparents. They have saved children from the Holocaust or just saved themselves from war or poverty or depression.

Submitted: December 30, 2016

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Submitted: December 30, 2016

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Women and men walk in time before me, shining in their aged raiment

as if the rain no longer falls, and the sun, newly emerged from clouds,

is piercing through the late afternoon air.

It gleams, reflected from their yellow slickers.

 

Each one is a hero, or heroine, if you prefer,

I know this truly.

They have rescued children, sometimes themselves, from hell.

 

They have pushed the cellophane envelope of life,

when it tore, gently patched its fragile surface,

spit and sweat rolled between thumb and forefinger until adhesion formed.

Like alchemists of lead and gold,

running their fingers over the jagged rips, re-sealing the ancient folded form.

It becomes something changed yet familiar, altered to accommodate their needs,

like a growing womb that holds a child,

kicking its legs, punching its fists,

reshaping the sheltering cavity.

 

Their stories pull and warp my mind,

leaving residue like sticky strands of packing tape,

impregnated with strings that catch in your teeth and will not tear with ease.

 

Eradicate the strings at your peril—

pulling them off, they tear the skin of the corrugated cardboard box,

exposing the wrinkled interior,

leaving it weakened

almost useless.


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