portion of the artwork for Lois Beebe Hayna's poem

Lois Beebe Hayna

From the root of wormwood comes absinthe;
from the poppy, opium.

I arrange poppies against your coming,
brilliant poppies with midnight centers,
poppies of wrinkled silk like the gowns I laid aside
when you went away.

When you come,
delicate wormwood sprays will greet you,
feathering the air with their bitter
absinthe fragrance.

When you come,
the poppies will warn you,
red as gouts of blood
in the frost of wormwood.

When you come
I shall be frost and silk, shall wear
disbelief at the back of my eyes.

When you go
you will remember nothing, yet be haunted
on certain moon-hung midnights by
the blood-red scent of poppies on my hands.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 30 | Fall 2010