PURE is this sweet, and pure confection
Powdery, spongy untainted white
Blissful bundle, and now finger’d fare,
Ah, this tasty marshmallow square.
Thou know’st that this cannot last
A form reformed by fingers without a past;
How this heat changes you
And swelling, insides oozing goo;
And this, alas! chang’d through and through.
O dark unsightly, unwelcome crust,
Coating caked, white, no more.
This marshmallow harm’d and, I am changed
Our skin scarred, jutting bones rearranged.
Crying uncontroll’d, as I bear witness
And the creepy black brown crust of this.
Now burnt, scathed and impure,
Misshapen sweetness now obscur’d,
And life and death and pain endur’d
Cruel cancer, hast tumors multiforme
Glioblastoma, mass surgery deformed?
Wherein could this marshmallow be,
Except in this molten middle that comes from thee?
Now finish’d, consum’d, no more blacken’d crust
Not pure sweet, but bittersweet, chalky remains and dust.
Memories of her without tumors last;
Just good and bad, now chang’d, time pass’d,
Sweet tastes of life, pure and innocent, burnt and beautiful.
Halsey Lilac Hutchinson was born in June 1999 on a cold, windy evening as the fog crept across the Golden Gate bridge along the corridors of California Street. Soothing her mother’s cries, the room smelled of lilacs, delivered by the hour from a fearful father to whom women still seemed to be a mystery. Now at the age of sixteen, Halsey is a junior at the acclaimed San Francisco University High School, known for its unique interdisciplinary approach to art, history and music. She spends weekends at SF Botanical gardens finding creative inspiration among the vibrant purple hydrangeas and never misses her annual trips to Pacific Grove to observe the colorful orange and black monarch butterflies in the shimmering eucalyptus trees.
Art by: Sterling Butler