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Alchemy, by Rebecca Evans

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This “recipe”  poem is by Rebecca Evans, a great supporter of the WCA, a survivor and former client. Rebecca is a writer with essays and poems published in The Rumpus, War, Literature & The Arts, Entropy, and Fiction Southeast, to name a few. She served eight years in the Air Force, including service in the Gulf War. With an MFA in creative nonfiction, Evans is now working on an MFA in poetry at Sierra Nevada College. She is currently editing a collection of essays titled Body Language, and just completed her memoir, Navigation. She lives in Idaho with her three sons.

Step One: Sprinkle a dash of encouragement and a sense of being, always more generous than you thought you’d need.

Step Two: Speak in tones that bring grandparent’s smile. It really isn’t what you say, but the delivery that counts.

Step Three: Add twinkles and soft touch, remembering that snowflakes are best when slightly melted.

Step Four:  Add warm bubbles and tell yourself that creatures transform when robbed of their comfort.

Step Five: Sip steamy Chai infused with dolloped honey. Consider extra honey to neutralize bitterness or heartbreak. Turn the heat high if the spirit has been hardened.

Step Six: Enfold the being, if not with arms, then the softest flannel woven with the brightest hue. It is well-advised to add music, perhaps wailing cellos or birdsong or riverbanks backed by the wind.

Step Six: Note the return rate and realize you may need to begin again, one step back, one step forward. You may stay in place for quite a while. Do this dance as long as it takes.

Step Seven: Remind yourself that you were here before and this recipe, passed along to you, generation after generation, has existed for all of time.

Note: Tell yourself to hold onto that hope-thread wish—that one day this recipe is no longer needed.

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