Exorcising the Chemotherapy Wig

by Gill McEvoy

She buried it deep below
her cotton pants, her nylon bras.
Each time the drawer was opened,
its wispy hair caressed the gussets, hooks.
In the basket on the wardrobe
it raised the hackles of its fur;
on still nights she would wake
imagining she could hear it purr.
Through the solid wooden box
she sensed its feelers palping edges,
picking up her pulse,
moulding to her skull.
In the grate she set the match to it,
watched it leap and throw out sparks,
curl in smoke until
it stilled to ash.
The tremor of her breath on its remains
sent powder flying through the room:
it clung, like memory, to everything.
She’s locked the house, the final time.
Someone else will lie asleep here now.
Waking, they will wonder if a stroke
of filaments across their skin
was dream, or otherwise…