Rosemary - Poem by Kathleen Reiman
Ophelia murmurs in my mind
'Let's go pick some flowers.'
I close my eyes and hold my breath
And beg her to be gone.
'I know where the rosemary grows'
She whispers conspiratorially.
I evade my inner phantom
That threatens to expose my heart.
She knows all too well that heavy trodden path
And bewitchingly she draws me on.
'Rosemary is for remembrance.'
Keep your herbs, my lady, and your memories too.
'Down by the lake I saw pansies today'
I thought about the last time I saw him
And wondered if my heart would break.
Better not to think, to feel, to act.
'You must sing' she giggled, 'my brother loved to sing.'
Ice clutched my chest; my breath gone
Struggling not to follow.
Ophelia knows where the rosemary grows.
Welcome to the boneyard, sacred place of rest.
Your memories are safe here
Not likely to stray.
Ole Yorick rests right here
And your Aunt May over there-
We put memories in the vaults
And lock them up tight
But let them out to dance each Friday night.
Pick you poison, to each their own:
Juice of hebona, Oberon's deceptive potion or common rage?
We all end up here resting til the world is done.
Kings and queens, murdered and their killers
Common man…even me!
Dust to dust.
Give me your memories
And I will sell you some peace.
Ophelia knows where the rosemary grows
And the grave lies open before me.
Impish boy who loved to play
Grew up to be a man.
Crooning to the gods of water and forest
Lives within Bacchus carefree dominion.
Barley brewed to sweet perfection
Jovial friends to share the night,
Quiet youth just smiles and nods
While all around him revel
Wild music with sweet voices raised,
Loyal companions living high.
Savoring time's short span-
Blind Morta waits for all to make an end.
Nona spun his life out full,
Decima measured short,
Cruel Morta snipped his thread:
Who said the Fates were fair?
Take him to the Tarpeian Rock;
This traitor of our hearts.
I need no quaestores parricidii to convict
The evidence drips from your own lips
This tale is mine to tell
Its twists and turns a part of me
Dead white men can't tell my tale,
Though they tell others well.
Each person weaves a story
Every person views a scene
No one knows what I have seen
Or touched life's pain the same
Brick by brick I build my room
Words laid carefully in the foundation
Though other writers may go before
This room I labor to construct is my own.
My silent screams climb the walls
That hold my dark heart captive
People all around me smile and wonder
At the bouquet of fragrant herbs falling from my hand.
I may walk through fields of pansies
And dance down by the river
But rosemary promises me sweeter memories
Than Polonius' mad daughter.
Death comes to all who live
And life has no end
The grave is an end to life
And the beginning of all that comes after.
The room I build is but a vapor
I can't take it to the grave
Yet memories I build with others
Leave a sweet savor at my passing.
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