Spice Cupboard

By Nina Bogin

Juniper and clove,
thyme and tarragon.
Who can I depend upon?
Star anise and linden flower,
I went away, and even further.
I broke the hearts of my father and mother.
Rosemary and marjoram.
I married, we had a son
who stayed in the womb,
who wasn’t born.
Sorrow of lemon balm.
Solace of hypericum.
Lavender and coriander.
We had a daughter
and another daughter.
Raspberry leaf, chamomile and cinnamon.
My first daughter has a daughter
and a son.
Cardamom and ginger root,
cumin and turmeric.
This is my second daughter’s music.
Poppy seed and elderflower.
I’m not yet old,
but getting older.
Gingko, saffron and dill
will not cure
my husband’s ills.
Marigold and rue,
hyssop and shepherd’s wort.
All I haven’t learnt.
Bay leaf, sage and caraway.
Which confers wisdom?
Which longevity?
Nasturtium and rose,
starflower and clover.
Flowers to think things over.

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