The Herb Rosemary

against forgetting

in a future, far away and unclear,
it may hurt to remember,
as now, the sting to envision what’s ahead,

instead, aren’t we wired not to forget
how the Year 2020
rearranged our lives?

like the herbal teacher Rosemary,
who at ancient weddings
was woven into brides’ bouquets

and garlands given to grooms
so as not to forget their vows
to keep love ablaze.

likewise, sprigs laid aside
loved ones who passed away,
always to be remembered,

rosemary, focusing our attention today
more sharply, attendant at life and death,
valiant cohort in the thieves oil team

against medieval plagues,
taking its anti-viral crusade
and breath into the 21st century,

with aroma of both forest and field,
both sweetening and cutting,
green of spear, silvery shield,

rosmarinus officinalis “dew of the sea”
that can live through a drought,
deep in its DNA history, like ours, knowing

an instilled sense against forgetting, or is it
remembering how refreshments of rain
would come again to visit.

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About the Author

Cynthia Gallaher is a Chicago-based poet and author of four poetry collections, including Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs and Spices (The Poetry Box, Portland, 2019), and three chapbooks, including Drenched (Main Street Rag, Charlotte, N.C., 2018). The Chicago Public Library lists her among its “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets.” She is a two-time alumna of the Writers' Colony.

Cynthia Gallaher
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