A History of Resurrection by Rachel Mallalieu

A History of Resurrection

by Rachel Mallalieu

Everyone marveled when Jesus
brought Lazarus back from the dead
But on a hot night in August
I resurrected the same junkie
twice in one shift
When someone pushed her out of
the car a second time,
she still wore the gauze and tape in the crook
of her left elbow, where we’d so recently placed the IV
This time, the Narcan worked so slowly
that I had the blade in her mouth
ready to place a breathing tube
Then her eyes flew open
and she pushed my hand away
Thanks for nothing bitch
Next time let me die

Before Lazarus was resurrected, his
sisters wailed and mourned
Overcome by the brutal humanity of it all—
afflictions, heartache, the certitude of death
Jesus wept
After he wept, Jesus prayed,
for he knew that raising Lazarus
would lead many to faith
each time that I am
brought another addict who is
still and blue
I offer silent prayers while
searching for a vein
Though it is hard for me to
keep the faith

I ready the antidote but
even Jesus raised Lazarus from
the dead only once


Rachel Mallalieu received her B.A. in English from Grove City College and earned her medical degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She practices Emergency Medicine just outside of Baltimore, MD. Rachel married her college sweetheart and has five children. She loves to read, travel, hike, and always picks the mountains over the beach.


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  1. Absolutely magnificent poem/story. So beautiful and I am with you on the sentiment. Wow.

  2. As a physician myself, this was quite moving for me on so many levels. Thank you!

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