If I should brew a shrub
for this long Spring,
it should have cloves,
for dignity, rhododendron –
just coming into bud –
for danger, allspice
for compassion, chrysanthemum
for cheerfulness under adversity,
some whips of French willow
for bravery, and humanity,
a cutting of cypress for death,
and flax, and sage, for industry,
and virtue – of the domestic
inclinations. Braced with vinegar, and
steeped, we’ll face the coming of May.
And should we last until November,
my toddy will be brewed with chamomile,
bee orchard, and hawthorn: disgust,
and hope, and energy in adversity.
I shall grow palms, and rudbeckia –
and nasturtiums for January’s cold
snap, and hung upon our doors and
weighted upon our hearts, there shall be
victory, and justice, and patriotism.
And should we see another Spring,
the long slumbering nightshade of truth.
I resisted this one. Na/GloPoWriMo Day Eleven gives us a Victorian guidebook, and asks us to dive into the language of flowers. I couldn’t resist a little political flower planting.
A shrub is vinegar that has been infused with fruit, herbs, and spices, and commonly used as flavoring in cocktails, or for sipping.