Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lemon Balm to prune

//lemon balm to prune

LEMON BALM to prune

We have lemon herbs
in our garden -
thyme, verbena,
and “creeping” balm
that sneaks along under
the ground, popping
annoyingly up anywhere
like in the midst of
chamomile or rue,
and, no doubt,
our neighbors’ yards
like ubiquitous comfrey,
or bamboo.
Year after year
we vainly try to dispose
of the volunteers of balm.
Lemon thyme is fine,
and verbena’s sweet,
reminds me of Scarlet
O’Hara’s mother, how she
smelled of lavender
and lemon verbena, but
lemon balm’s our enemy
pushing its way aggressively
as an unrepentant sinner,
through our yard,
with downy, mint-green leaves
like tiny profile cutouts
of sugar-maple trees,
on tough-as-a-chain, square stems,
impossible to break.
It’s not a total “lemon”, though -
it makes a tasty tea.

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