Collecting Vervain After Her Death

Back to Issue 14

Late summer wildcrafting before daybreak, 
just as Druids once gathered, Dog Star rising
in the east. At meadow’s edge, a cottontail 

shuffling, the fiery flash of cardinal.
Shadows under grandmother oak, 

but the spiked clump visible, conical 

hats of the deep indigo flowers, witches
waiting. I adjust my basket on my forearm 
and bend down to their brewing pharmacy, 

their fragrant medicine. All night, the waterfall
of the Sturgeon Moon on them, on me, spilling
in windows, soaking my dreams. Now the dew

evaporating, sun an apricot stain on dawn’s
horizon. Time to cut. The petite florets
shiver to take my grief. 

By Lauren Tivey

Lauren Tivey is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Traveler in the Sunset Clouds, and four chapbooks, most recently Moroccan Holiday (winner of The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize). Her work appears in Saw Palm, South Florida Poetry Journal, Split Lip Magazine, and Connotation Press. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida.