In the springtime’s sun and its youthful strength.
Here’s a shaded spot in which to carry out –
My private Rite of Spring.
Cautiously I carry my precious pots.
Out from their winter corner.
Blue and red glaze to adorn my front steps.
Reversing their Autumnal journey.
(They retire in the days before All-Hallows.
To save damage from visiting cowgirls and batmen).
Back then, green stalks stripped bare of edible leaves.
First grubs then drab October mouldered the rest.
February’s cruel breath dried all to a crackle.
Now, last year’s herbs are haunting still.
Parsley transformed, a pale fluttering phantom.
Thyme a blackened skeletal cage.
Sage a tall grey ghoul –
Rattle dry bony leaves in the Spring breeze.
Trowel in hand I grasp above, dig below.
Shake off soft root soil to nurture growth another season.
Twisted stalks shedding dusty fragrance.
Tiny thyme leaves overwhelm with earthy musk.
Surprise sweetness shed from basil’s corpse.
Snapped crisp straws cram my weed bucket.
Deep-rooted sage refuses forced eviction –
Grey leaves scatter as it struggles.
Its sacred aroma attempts an incantation.
I say a prayer of thanks to the spirit leaving my prey.