Chamomile

I bought a small packet of chamomile
in Belgrade, the city of my youth
in the Institute for Herbs
a long time ago.

Brought these charming golden heads
crowned with lacey white petals
into the land where I live
without chamomile.

In the frenzy of everyday existence
(a cunning assassin of  life)
chamomile lay forgotten
in the darkness of credenza
with the screaming salsa, Horgosh paprika
and other insidious herbs.

Finding it unexpectedly, with a smile
I prepared my mother’s tea
dazzling with its molten golden hues
(color of her hair) its aroma soft like her hand
tender as the smile, sparkle of her eyes..

Mother, Mother, mutely I scream
stretching empty hands after all that
has inexorably left me through the years

For a flash you were here
only your tea is left
whose fragrance announced the beginning
of a day in my growing years
You spoiled us, Mother,
with something beyond definition

The word love is much in use today
worn out like a dirty bill
Without you nothing is like before
to our father, my brother, or me

We have sipped your tea
until you quietly disappeared
like its fragrance.
Your breath still lingers.

Only love lives on
the rest is a dream.

April 2009.
California

By Mira Mataric
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