Poetry is the music of words. It doesn’t just speak to our minds; it speaks to our souls.

The Herb Garden – By Stephen Gray

My mother before she died insisted I should have a herb garden
Something in her English soul
Amid rough South Africans
Called for the tenderness of mint
The old scent of lavender and sage

They arrived in soggy pages of The Star
With a spade taller than herself
She dug them into my backyard
Before I was ready for them
A cigarette tightly in her lips
Explaining chives made life worthwhile

That is how she died in her own
Garden of sweet remembrance
Very frail then with a bucket and spade
The size we children used for play
Always finding the sun too hot the soil
Far too dry for the gentler herbs

Today after the heart-stopping drought
My mother’s bed of lost spices
Has so flourished I have cut it back
And the mint is in the crevices of fingers
The sage under my very nails
And I remember her every gesture.


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