Anise Hyssop and Bee
Herbalism, Poetry


Anise Hyssop
Agastache foeniculum | Lamiaceae 

Your name rolls off the tongue like powdered sugar – “Anise, darling,” like some long-lost British second-cousin come calling after years of traveling the world in want of “self discovery.” Your list of particulars can cast a lengthy shadow, as you list them studiously so as to ensure that you are flawlessly cared for: Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cervidae. How you love to bask in the sunlight of lazy Summer afternoons, movements slow and languid, knowing exactly the right angle to tilt your face so as to coerce any given passerby to stop and notice how your cheeks glow with just the most angelic touch of violet. Elegant and opinionated, purveyor of antique oddities, a quirky duchess who’s designer purse, several years out of fashion, seems perpetually full of misshapen licorice candies. I am reminded of my grandmother’s kitchen in early Autumn, every window in the four-story house wide-open and classical music on the ancient radio, her louder-than-she-looks voice encouraging me to drink up a mug of some smelly herbal concoction – “it’s good for what ails you.” As I tilt the steaming liquid towards my trembling lips, the scent seems to transform from moist dirt to sweet mint, and as I taste it, I am transported out of that cramped room and into open pastures in some faraway green country.


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