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Drugs Tablets Pain Medication Pills Headache

BooksNovember 13, 2020

The Friday Poem: Immunosuppressants by Andrea Malcolm

Drugs Tablets Pain Medication Pills Headache

A new poem from Auckland poet Andrea Malcolm.


My heart opens, my heart closes
My fist opens, my fist closes
My mouth opens, my mouth closes
My heart opens, the saga begins

My heart opens my heart closes
My fist opens my fist closes
My mouth opens my mouth closes
Somewhere a song of subdued rage

My heart opens grit and nerve
my fist opens metal and blood
my mouth opens fire and ice
thirsty little wasps sipping

heart opens and closes fist
mouth opens and closes heart
fist opens and closes mouth
a song of war and elements

blood gritting veins and ice
fire and heart nerve mouth
fist closing metal heart
a song of wasps a song of pain

a song of blood mouth metal grit
a song of heart nerve sinew vein
a song of wasps and pretty jewels


Author’s note: This is for all people who take medicines to stay alive. I take three different drugs to stop my immune system from attacking my heart as a foreign body including the steroid prednisone. The doses have reduced considerably since I had my operation. Side effects I’ve experienced include burning sensation in the feet, chills and shivering, swollen face, agitation, tremors, nausea, diarrhoea, anaemia and kidney disease. Ongoing, the major side effect is increased susceptibility to illnesses including cancer. But I’m happy to be alive!!

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again in early 2021.

Keep going!