The Savory Sip by Melodie Bolt
My mother, a well-known witch, made rejuvenation tea
To clean the blood and restore vitality.
Stinging nettle for energy, cleaver to clear toxins,
Violets for vim and vigor, rosemary for taste.
And one other ingredient she took to her grave,
Tasting salty and sweet, like pennies on the tongue.
Long I tried to concoct her recipe.
Late moonlit nights and early morning haze,
My face croning in the mirror, haggard shadows ghosting my youth.
My obsession drove me swifter toward the grave.
If only I could unravel that last ingredient to restore my beauty and liveliness.
Hermiting in my kitchen, pots boiling, sharp knife nicking, herbs and my knuckles.
Sucking sweetly on the blood, I knew.
I started with mice, but the flavor proved too meek.
Then rabbits flayed, squirrels their necks wrung.
I visited the butcher in spring, his knife quick along the throat,
The blood bleating from a falling, ailing sheep.