ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is the freebie for today's bonus fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] cadenzamuse. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman. This is a sequel to "Pearls and Posies," and will make more sense if you've read that first.


"A Touch of Comfort"


Twice a week, Abelie came into the village:
once to study with Sofia, the old deaf woman
who was teaching hand-talk, and once
to study herbs with Fiorenza while
Abelie's sister Margherita worked with Don Candido.

It was hard on the girls
to have lost their voices so young,
fey blessing gone awry so that
Abelie spoke only in flowers
while Margherita murmured in jewels.

There was nothing to be done for it,
only learn to work around it,
and so Fiorenza set aside time
every week to help Abelie learn the herbs
and their uses and their meanings.

"Rosemary: tonic and astringent,"
Fiorenza said. "It means remembrance."
"Lavender: purification and relaxation.
It means devotion." She pointed out
the different beds with their subtly different plants.
"This is Italian lavender; this is Spanish lavender."

Abelie pointed to another bed of soft silvery leaves
and spoke a sphere of scarlet sycamore blossoms,
symbol of curiosity, as she looked to Fiorenza.

The wisewoman smiled at her. "This is lamb's ear,"
Fiorenza explained. "It speaks of support.
It has no medicinal applications, though.
I grow it because it's pretty and fuzzy.
Not everything needs to have a practical use."
She stroked one finger along a velvety leaf.
"Sometimes people just need a touch of comfort."

Abelie replied with a straw flower for agreement,
then pointed to the basket slung over her elbow.
"Go ahead and dig one up," Fiorenza said.

So Abelie carefully transplanted a lamb's ear
into the little corner garden outlined in bricks that
the wisewoman had given her to tend on her own.
It went between the chamomile (energy in adversity)
and the verbena (you have my confidence)
as a silent reminder that not everything
had to be useful and nobody had to be perfect.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-22 07:55 pm (UTC)
avia: A hand holding a heart made of snow/ice. (ice heart)
From: [personal profile] avia
a silent reminder that not everything
had to be useful and nobody had to be perfect.


MY FEELS ;w;

I love the message. Ahh~

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2013-01-22 08:39 pm (UTC)
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (Default)
From: [personal profile] meridian_rose
Agreeing with the above commentator. That ending is so powerful!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-22 10:45 pm (UTC)
syntaxofthings: A street that's been pelted with rain. ([other] Rainy street)
From: [personal profile] syntaxofthings
Oh my gosh so much this. I need that reminder too!

Re: Yay!

Date: 2013-01-22 11:03 pm (UTC)
syntaxofthings: Death Fae from the Fey Tarot (Default)
From: [personal profile] syntaxofthings
I'm just glad I took the time to read it. :) I always enjoy your poems when I do.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-23 01:24 am (UTC)
chordatesrock: The Punishment of Loki by Louis Huard (detail) (Default)
From: [personal profile] chordatesrock
Won't Margherita cause inflation and extreme imbalances in distribution of wealth? Won't she destroy the economy?

Aren't Abelie's highly-organized creations breaking the laws of thermodynamics?

I somehow suspect that I'm missing the point.

Re: Well...

Date: 2013-01-23 03:41 am (UTC)
chordatesrock: The Punishment of Loki by Louis Huard (detail) (Default)
From: [personal profile] chordatesrock
How will the poor people who receive the jewels spend them, considering there's no easy way to make change for one? How will they afford to get them appraised? Will they be accused of theft?

Maybe I should start reading this series after all.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-23 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westrider.livejournal.com
My mom grew Lamb's Ear when I was a kid. It was always one of my favorites because it was soft and fuzzy and distinctive.

Yes...

Date: 2013-01-23 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
It's a very popular plant for children's gardens or tactile arrangements.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-02-01 02:49 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
If you're thinking mullein it's actually very useful for coughs and asthma -- it's one of the reasons my asthma is as not-crappy as it is.

No ...

Date: 2013-02-01 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Mullein and lamb's ear are different plants, although they are sometimes confused. It was hard to find a plant with NO medicinal applications!

Re: No ...

Date: 2013-02-01 03:01 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Hee! Okay. Both names are used for the same plant in the western US, which is where I got to know it; I know mullein is originally old-world but I'm not shocked the nickname varies. And yes, I'll bet it was tough to find something to use there!

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