My mother had a cupboard full of jars with spices.
If you didn’t use them properly, the flavors caused vices.
If you used too much allspice, the neighbors did strange things.
They would run in crazy circles and start to wear nose rings.
The bay leaf and the basil mixed in bad proportion
Would cause chaos and confusion and even extortion.
Chili pepper burned your tiny tongue to little pieces,
And dill was so boring that it gave you sleep increases.
Fennel and ginger made you giggle ‘till you cried.
Horseradish and lavender made you talk until you lied.
Nutmeg and oregano always made you snort and sneeze.
Paprika and parsley made drop right to your knees.
Rosemary blessed you if you used the right amount,
But in double doses, it would raise your blood count.
Saffron and savory would go right to your head.
Tarragon and thyme would turn you cherry red.
Vanilla made you dizzy and sent you to outer space.
White mustard made you cough and turn green in the face.
So I used the spices sparingly and never took them for granted.
All the seeds my mother sowed were for spices she had planted.
Copyright 2019 Jennifer Waters