The Repository for
Neglected Chemists

Around the laboratory doors they float
in off-white coats, gazing with amazement
at the modern tools therein, hope renewed
that researchers might resurrect and fix
their metallurgical mistakes:
correct the color or consistency,
achieve the optimal environment.

Acclaim escapes them at the moment; still
they seek to find that special formula
with antiquated stone decanters and
dispensers, coaxing fumes from labyrinth-like
configurations made of copper pipe
and glass. Hands scalded glossy rose attest
to caustic blunders or concocting
now-known-as-harmful pharmaceuticals.

German, Dutch, or French, each existed for
his science, sacrificing friendship, health
and family for the flickering of lamps
and bubble of elixirs. Itching to
inhabit innovation’s realm, they fail
to fully grasp the methodology
required, find themselves still shackled to
the cobwebbed corridor of alchemy.
Spring 2007