Herb Woman

Herb Woman

Roots and herbs she gathers,
Morning, night and noon,
By the raising dog-star,
Underneath the moon.

In her fragrant kitchen
While the lost world sleeps,
Gentle midnight priestess,
She mixes and steeps.

Shakes the leafy brethren,
Sorts and scrapes with skill,
On her vibrant fingers
Wood and field and hill-

Poppy leaves and wormwood
Peony petals spilt,
Dreamy hop flowers added,
For a headache quilt.

Hands only made for healing,
Nostrils made for smell,
Forehead wide and yearning,
Eyes fixed in a spell.

With the loose prescriptions
Floating through her head,
Such are prayers she mutters
Ere she goes to bed.

By Eleanor C. Koenig

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Herb Woman

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