Tuesday Poem

The Rarest Thyme

For you I would have built a herb-garden,
Not a pathetic patch for mint and chives

But a real olitory, with old-
Fashioned southernwood and rarest thyme.

I might have built a wooden seat between
Two plants of rosemary, their astringent

Scent seeping through your workshirt to the clean
Flesh of your back. I would have grown a plant

Of basil for you to stroke into form;
And, certainly, a row of lavender

To infuse carefully over a warm
Stove, for you to sip at whenever

The world became darkened with sick headaches,
Or a loss of blood whitened your small hands.

by Thomas McCarthy
from Mr. Dineen's Careful Parade – New and Selected Poems
Anvil Press Poetry, London, 1999