A Gentle Ferocity
by Carole MacRury

    I read the label of exotic names,
    jujube, lotus, Tien chi: rose-hips,
    royal jelly, red-sage; mountain peony,
    petals and bark all ground into an elixir;
    a liquid spark for defective parts,
    its efficacy guaranteed to bring back
    the chimera of youth, bring back
    the passion, restore the droop.

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