Kind Chemist Wife: Musings at 3:00 a.m. by Sarah Bigham is the kind of book that is worth repeated readings. What do you do at 3:00 a.m. when you are unable to sleep, and your mind whirls with the past, the present, the future?
Sarah’s poems in Kind Chemist Wife invites the reader to slow down and join her in late-night musings. Memory is a fickle thing, and Bigham explores what it means to be an unreliable narrator of her own life. “In The Drill,” Bigham recalls a childhood operation on her brain, which might have been traumatic if she was old enough to remember. Through other people’s remembrances of the accident, she ponders the present and the future. Did what happen then affect her health now? Is remembered pain psychological?
Bigham ‘s book deals with loss, and it is handled gently, the way you hold a delicate teacup in your hands. The need to be kind resonates through her work, both to others and to herself. The poem “Into the Blue” has this lovely first line—The voyage began in sunshine. Isn’t that true of all our memories? The book explores what happens when the sunshine begins to fade under the weight of reality.
“Where the #&@* is Bigham?” made me laugh aloud, and brought back some reminiscing of my own. Being ex-military, I identified strongly with the following lines:
However, the person who could best confirm that I am
hopeless when it comes to navigation is a particular sergeant
from the United States Army who attempted, using an impres-
sive range of tactics from intimidation to outright begging, to
teach me how to use a compass.
As I’d come to find out with Bigham’s poems, the ending was as wry and introspective as I’d come to expect. In almost all of her poems, I found a line, a thought, something I could relate to. “The Talking Stick,” a discussion on #MeToo, found me nodding my head as Bigham listed out the many things women find infuriating about males.
Kind Chemist Wife: Musings at 3:00 a.m. is a book to savor, and is worth rereading for those insights you may have missed the first time around. Bigham wraps personal experience along with the delights and dilemmas of being a woman into a heartfelt and sometimes painful offering. Take the time to read and reflect, it’s a worthwhile journey.
Kind Chemist Wife: Musings at 3:00 a.m. by Sarah Bigham is from Pski’s Porch Publishing.
Available on Amazon
Previous Book Reviews 2019 on Gyroscope Review:
Serving by Kari Gunter-Seymour
Arclight by John Biscello
Blackbird by Laura Grace Weldon
Blue Fan Whirring by Mike Jurkovic