Ode to the Tree of Life

Ode to the Tree of Life

After moringa, also known as drumstick tree or horseradish tree

For my auntie, my father’s younger sister, with her liver disease

“Let thy food by thy medicine.”

– Hippocrates

Altruism, too, works its principles in the
Body. Food as medicine: moringa leaves
Colored deep as harmony, darkest green.
Drumstick or horseradish tree, source of
Elixir with which I salve brokenness and
Flaws. Grant me living essences, a
Grateful heart, concentrated hope scents.
Heal flesh wounds, spiritual pain,
Infuse the wind with joyful memories,
Juice the silent night with wishes. I
Keep going to the garden, picking, praying:
Let the liver regenerate, its scars erased,
Make the kidneys cleanse and rejuvenate.
Newness be the air the lungs savor,
Order and balance between heart and
Pancreas. I fill the wicker basket with
Quiet assurances, stems lively as light,
Returning inward with my harvest. In
Silence I wash the stalks and pluck:
Thank you, thank you, thank you – like
Unguent for anxieties, like heartbeat.
Verve rises as the blender dissolves,
Water circling, transforming. We drink
Expectancy, visualizing healthier futures:
Years and years of life, nature and nurture,
Zests, wholeness of body, soul and mind