Monday, June 12, 2006


The first time we grew herbs,
we planted the whole back yard,
and the harvest took us by surprise;
we simply weren't prepared
for the burden of abundance
we found ourselves faced with.
Some herbs to be used fresh,
with others, just enough, to see
us through the winter with delicate
reminders of the warmth and motion
of summer gone -- that's all
we thought we'd have. We cut, bundled,
and tied stems -- rosemary, thyme,
marjoram -- and hung them from the cords
we'd stretched across the pantry. Without
making a noticeable dint in what still
flourished in the sun. We stretched
more cords across the kitchen, cut
and hung more herbs -- dill, mint, tarragon --
without reaching a conclusion. More
cords across the den, more herbs --
oregano, sage, rocket -- then into
the bedroom -- basil, chives, savory --
before arriving in the living room --
parsley, fennel, bay -- and the end.
Tsunamis of scent swept through
the house, swamping the day-to-day
with rich exuberance that tired
the nostrils. Neighbors complained
that we were using too much air
freshener. Bees lay siege well
into winter. Eventually, fragrance
faded, and we were left dodging
dangling bundles gathering dust,
lashed together with spiderwebs.
We gathered them -- wheelbarrow
loads -- hauled them out, and
burned them; it took much of the day,
and the scents returned, ascending
back to the sun.
Now we ask only
for the merest pinch, artfully deployed
by the sparest of hands.


Blogger Unknown said...

You could say that equally about poetry too. Clever poem H!

11:34 AM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

Thanks. Another one of those that was fun to write (and at least partially based on truth, too). Glad you liked it.

9:45 PM  

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