She followed the master of the shop,
She was listening
but her mind was somewhere
three hours ago.
Her mind was making medicine.
You can make a pill from the placenta,
he said. Save it for later in life,
for the menopause it is especially beneficial.
The rarest treasures
make the strongest medicines. Our own bodies
make what we may later need.
She nodded, attentive, liquid eyes wide
but it was another kind of recipe
she wove. I would take
those moments with you,
nesting, one hand
on your warm chest
heartbeat, no sounds
but the chickadees, grosbeaks
happily singing in the new day,
I would take those moments
and make a pill.
Slice it thinly, he said;
place it on a baking sheet.
Bake it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit
for 24 hours.
Then you will place the dehydrated slices
in a mortar and crush them to powder.
Mix the powder thoroughly
with a small amount of honey,
enough to make pea-sized balls.
Place the balls back on the baking sheet
and allow them to dry.
Instruct the patient to store them
in a cool place.
The dosage is 1 to 3 pills as needed.
One to three pills, she repeated,
brushing pungent herbal flour
from her fingers
onto her apron
her ruthless curls back
behind her ear.
January 25, 2009