Mullein in the Time of Pneumonia

A tightness prompts

a constricting

that pulls a string

that moves in a creeping current

up to my throat

but the air tickles and

try though I might

I cannot suppress the cough

that barks into the night.

I slip out of bed

to sit alone in the chair

beside the sky-dark window.

It is then I hear in my lungs

the murmur of living Mullein,

even though her stalwart stalk,

budded in summer with buttery blossoms

stands dry and brown

in winter’s garden.

Stay with me, Verbascum thapsus,

for I am lonely with fever

and fear edges my breath.

Blanket my chest

with the soothing sage-gray

of your lush and velvety leaves.

We can be allies, I proffer:

help me heal

and you will always be welcome

wherever you set your roots,

be it in the lawn

the lettuce bed

under the apple tree or

among the pumpkins in their patch.

I never doubted her promise

or questioned her advice

and now, old friends,

with every spring

and grateful lungs

I watch for her return.

One thought on “Mullein in the Time of Pneumonia

  1. The idea of a string pulled, a creeping current, a tickle, a bark into the night. For I am lonely with fever…what a line. Incredibly beautiful images…such a master of words you are, my friend. I’m so glad to have met you and to have you as a friend.

    shelley thompson 88 east fork rd camden, me 04843 _______________________

    c: 207.691.6848 e: shelley.thompson01@gmail.com

    sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

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