Taking Control

“Take five of these three times a day”
The instructions say.
I try to comply,
But some days boundaries are merely implied.

The doctor wanted to give me
A powder for my wound,
But he, his supplier, and the grocery—
Out of stock, all three.

Lacking the powder, made from Chinese herbs,
I use what I have: Swedish Bitters,
Good for healing wounds of flesh;
I use a dropper to keep it fresh.

But my patience is tried,
So many gorgeous fall days passing me by:
Infection reduced, wound improving but still open.
I want control, if but a token.

I like to grow my own herbs,
Or buy them whole and grind myself,
But these herbs I’m taking are unfamiliar,
And I would need a guide to find them.

I picture myself wandering the Chinese countryside
With someone who has been there;
A basket over each shoulder
To collect what we should find.

We look for Cha Chi Huang,
We seek some Xian Feng Cao.
Eyes peeled for Liu Zhi Huang,
And don’t forget the Feng Wei Cao.

Returning with herbaceous treasures,
Some we plant, some we dry,
Make a tisane with standard measures;
I’m on the mend, and my heart could fly!

But now, against my joints’ complaints,
I must return to sleeping on the couch:
The friendliest positions
To protect my wound are on its cushions.

© 2017 H.K. Longmore

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