Cold are the slabs in the cemetery.
Colder the bones that rattle beneath them,
And colder still this breeze that shakes the stems:
the memorial blooms of rosemary.
Of parsley, sage, oregano, and thyme
that fill jars and bowls, these herbs hang in bunches
from the kitchen rafters. We eat our lunches.
Not much remains, sadly, with which to rhyme
my scattered thoughts about the coming chill
of winter with all its ceremonial
robes of frost and snow, testimonials
displayed upon the slope of yonder hill.
Winding these precious stems into a wand,
like a wizard, one wave and I’ll be gone.


Deborah H. Doolittle has lived in lots of different places (including the United Kingdom and Japan), but now calls North Carolina home. An AWP Intro Award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the author of Floribunda and three chapbooks, No Crazy Notions, That Echo, and Bogbound.