by Jenne Micale
Lus means both "a flame" and "an herb," and invokes Brighid of the hearth, the locus of everyday healing, sustenance and storytelling.Come then. Your hands lace around the
chipped cup framing your eyes with
rising steam. The knots and veins of them thread
a landscape -- mountains, valleys, broad rivers.
Age hones you into the image of Earth.
At your back, the snow catches sound like mice
on a cat's paw. Turn instead to the fire.
Let it delight your eye, let it spark a
story as it heats the tea, as it draws
us to the corners of the hearth. A breath
and again. Begin with prayers to cattle
and to men. Come then, you chant, let me tell
you of times spun of mist and shit and earth.
Let me tell you of the herb you hold in
your cup. Let me tell you, the singing harp
the strings unstruck, of the hiss of fat from
the cooking fish that turns boy into bard.
It starts with a hearth, with a cup of tea,
with age in your hands and fire in your eye,
a hearkening ear, and a crackling tongue.
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