I was born with a thick head of black hair:
It survived the pulls, cuts, styling, dyes,
creams, oils and gels throughout my teens.
Now it’s falling out in clumps along with my faith:
the chemo is failing.
Who knew They would arrive in my lifetime?
Who knew They could hold the answer to ridding us of it once and for all?
Now my hair is thinning,
falling out in life’s natural cycle, as I tell my grandchild of the day
They landed and changed our lives forever.
His eyes grow wide as he listens,
and when the story ends,
I ruffle up his thick head of black hair.
— L.P. Melling
L.P. Melling has prose poetry in ARTPOST magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, and L’Éphémère Review. He won the short story contest ran by the Russell Group of universities while completing a BA in English, and was a finalist for the Writers of the Future contest. When not writing, he works for a legal charity that advises and supports victims of crime.
Editor’s Note: A lady contemplates the effects of radiation exposure (https://www.self.com/story/chemotherapy-side-effects-to-know/an); an atomic bomb image (from Printrest) is superimposed outside the window in the near distance.