Poetry and Prose by Wess Mongo Jolley

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Rosemary for Remembrance

wild rosemary memories
     of the gardens of northern california
the sprig she cut for each of us
     after the handfasting
is on my altar still
     a decade and a half later
she was roomy and luxuriant
     and he was mushroom puck
heavy earth mother bosom and
     randy roving pan
an archetypal pair
     but in our hearts we celebrants knew
          their future would not be kind
rosemary for remembrance she said
     handing me the cut and fragrant twig
her eyes wet with newfound love
     as she hugged me to her thick breast
          tears in a lace handkerchief
               and fingers sweet with spring herb
a year later
     her pan found me in a beltane bower
and tossed the condoms aside

     (First published in Off the Coast, 2008)

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