Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Two fetus-like protrusions grow

like petals on long, slender stems

and stop and start and slowly draw

the life out of a battered body

while filling it with lethal fluid.

Tiny weapons of mass destruction

flow through arteries that still

throb to keep her weakened heart

from giving into the darkness while

shadows appear at her side

though her eyes, open, do not

see those apparitions.

It seemed cruel to pray for a miracle…



Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko

Award-winning educator and published poet: A Consecration of the Wind, Fragmented Roots, and Souls Tilled Like Soil. Website: