Cover photo courtesy of the author, digitally manipulated by Paige Bickhart, using Waterlogue.
Published: March 21, 2015 [125 copies]
Sarah B. Wiseman is a writer and a journeyperson carpenter living in Battersea, Ontario. Her poetry has appeared in numerous Canadian literary journals over the years.
Rosemary is the memory herb. We lay a sprig
under our pillow at night and the scent
reminds us to dream of light, forget
our fears. We drift to sleep, oblivious
to the man who woke from nervous dreams,
rose to breakfast and bath before chores,
walked from the hollow bee tree at the edge
of his garden to the rosemary greenhouse,
and the sound of his heart followed him there.
What thoughts came to him? What memory
swelled like a sting through his body
even as he resisted? His head throbbed
as he stepped into the brush of leaves. The breath
of a hundred bees’ wings on his skin,
their dizzy hum growing under the glass while he
broke the twigs of green needle, blue flower,
collected them in a bucket for market, to be twined
before the mist had finished rising
from the fields. Scent rose from his shaking hands
as he worked, piqued the thirst of those creatures
who have no memory, who are not afraid
of following the smell of rosemary to the greenhouse–
the sound of their wings resonating there.
We place a sprig of rosemary under our pillow
so we dream of light, and we do not remember
the bees, or the farmer who plucked our memory herb,
who has now turned to his window, or to a wife,
or is aware only of the weight of his body
in the middle of a narrow bed. The smell of rosemary
seething in his palms.
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