Poetry Rx | “Chemotherapy” by Julia Darling

by | Sep 7, 2022 | Poetry Rx

Julia Darling (1956-2005)

I did not imagine being bald
at forty four. I didn’t have a plan.
Perhaps a scar or two from growing old,
hot flushes. I’d sit fluttering a fan.
But I am bald, and hardly ever walk
by day, I’m the invalid of these rooms, stirring soups, awake in the half dark,
not answering the phone when it rings.
I never thought that life could get this small, that I would care so much about a cup,
the taste of tea, the texture of a shawl,
and whether or not I should get up.
I’m not unhappy. I have learnt to drift
and sip. The smallest things are gifts.


Coral Tree In-home Care provides caregivers, old-fashioned kindness, and neighborly support to older adults who want to live at own home safely, comfortably, and as independently as possible. Since 2010 we’ve helped more than 500 families in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Corona del Mar, and neighboring Southern California communities live safer, happier lives.

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