I gathered wild violets
Beckoning me in royal purple and white
Tinged with yellow, a marker
To awaken.
“It’s time to make medicine.”
As much for the soul as the body.

My grandmother speaks to me
From three generations back,
“Osiyo, little one.”
“Leave some for the bees
Who sweeten our tea.”

How exquisite is the wee violet!
Five velvety petals—silky,
Oh, to rest among these
Caressing my skin
And soothing my soul,
I wonder if Titania ever knew such pleasure?

I held them to my cheek by the handful,
Before I offered each one into the warming oil.
The age- old alchemy begins—
The disparate melding,
Like me, making medicine.

Just as winter sheds her drab and heavy coat,
So, I, without judgement, rub the oil
Into my tired and achy body,
Over each roll, dimple, and scar,
The herbaceous scent grounding me
In the rhythm of rebirth and renewal.
The heartbeat of my grandmother and mine are the same—
Holding hands and earth hundreds of years apart.

Poem by Carmen L. Brown

Carmen L. Brown is a community college English professor living in East Tennessee. Her work has most recently been published in, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, the Penwood Review, Voices of Eve, and Abbey of the Arts. She blogs at almightyalchemy.wordpress. com.