In response to MURI’S 2020 CHALLENGE FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH. Like the 2019 challenge, this consists of 13 prompts, one for each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in April. They can be completed in any order. If you are interested in participating, click on the above link for the prompts and posting guidelines.
Prompt #2 is “Use the following words in a poem – willow, bird, tea.” On my mind as I wrote my response was an article from last week’s New York Times wherein a nurse complained that the hospital she worked at was out of everything. Not just ventilators and masks and gloves, but vital medications. No sedatives for patients on ventilators. No Tylenol for patients with fevers. If hospitals cannot get their hands on Tylenol, what hope is there for the rest of us? I pulled out a book I bought long ago, an encyclopedia of alternative medicine. Mostly simple, common sense remedies—clove to soothe a toothache, ginger to calm an upset stomach, menthol and camphor to loosen chest congestion, honey and lemon to quiet a cough. Roll your eyes if you want, but home remedies might be worth a shot when you’re suffering and there are no over-the-counter meds to be had. Now’s the time to befriend that odd neighbor who knows about stuff like feverfew and St John’s wort.
Our neighbor, a strange bird is she
grinding bark from a white willow tree
with mortar and pestle
then boiling the kettle
to brew some homemade “headache tea”
Have a comment? Click HERE to share it!