Free Verse

Friday, September 28, 2012

Comfort but no tangible cure

Down the staircase which leads deeper

into a preserving place,

herbs in tinted bottles glow.

Peppermint, fennel, and rue

float in the amber oils

of caster, linseed, and olive,

waiting to perform a miracle

at the snap of a bean.

Some might call it common

the way she set the bottles

on a white table cloth

beside the pressed square of butter;

the way she went out after a rain

when the earth was more givable;

the way she made the oils by the phase of the moon.

Along the path from the cellar to the creek,

there are memories but no ghosts.

March lambs browse raspberry leaves.

Their sharp-toed hooves trample the thistle,

mullein and sorrel-- the only plants she hated.

Weaned lambs placidly nibble the weeds

that flavored their mother's milk.

Hummingbirds in the foxgloves

will sing of the taste all season;

and gooseberry-eyed, nursing calves

will chew a real cud

or the charming memory of one.


Deborah Quigley Smith has published poems in Melic Review, Long Pond Review, Sequoya Review, and Poetry Miscellany, as well as other print and online journals. She has an English degree from Harding University and currently lives with her husband in Quigley's Castle, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In addition to poetry, Debbie writes international thrillers, one of which was recently selected as a semi-finalist for a national prize. She volunteers in the Community Writing Program, mentoring students on plot and character.

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