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Original artwork by Katie M. Zeigler

The Aroma of Basil

Bobbi Sinha-Morey

My father was once allergic to

penicillin and now I am, too, afraid

to go to any doctor and praying

I don’t even catch the flu; my mission

in life to forever take care of my

fatherless children. In my extra time

apart from the cooking and cleaning

I’d be the fixer upper of the family,

caulking windows, patching the walls

where there were holes, connecting

electronic wires, finding just the right

batteries for flashlights and radios.

I’d nearly forgotten the scent of tea

and roses, the feel of ripe fruit,

the time my teenage daughter showed

me how to use a Bunsen burner.

I’d relish every spare moment I had,

even the time I got sick and my

youngest learned how to make

chicken noodle soup, brought me

a bowl when I was in bed. She

laughed herself silly when I told

her I taught the cat how to yawn.

As my children grew life became

easier; and still I worked at an Arts

& Crafts shop. I practiced needlepoint

at home, careful not to prick my

fingers. One day the aroma of basil

came from outside my kitchen

windowsill, and I breathed it in,

the scent so gently lifted in the breeze.