Herb bed in winter
By Marge Piercy
The world is a thick white blanket.
Even the branches are fat with snow.
Birds are the only flowers, red,
yellow, blue, grey, white and black,
even the greenish female cardinal.
But I know under that deep cold
fur, the herbs are simply sleeping.
The sage, the tarragon and chives,
oregano, lovage, chervil seeds —
blanket off, they will rise up.
They will give their essence
to tea. They will lie down in dry
heat and ready themselves to give
flavor to stews and soups. They’ll
heal coughs and fevers and headache.
Humble as grass, strong as weeds,
herbals sing their praises and uses
and myths. Beets are not magical,
peppers aren’t, not even tomatoes
but among herbs I become a witch.
Copyright © 2015 by Marge Piercy.