Parsley, Memento Mori

The baby left

by the nurse

as she hastened

to show water,

like Rebekah to the servant of Isaac-


The woman pining

for release

in the ogress’s garden herbs-


-the innocent one neglected.

The strike of the serpent.

The blood spurting.

From Opheltes,

reborn as Archemorus,

parsley sprang.


-the woman,

sneaking like a garden snake,

heart on the parsley,

is caught,

and a child is born to be coveted,

a child named Petrosinella.




With long hair,

like curling fronds,

Petrosinella’s tale

is that of a maiden hidden

in a tall tower.

But that was long ago,

and she is nothing but dust now.

Where there

she needed love,

she now needs

naught but parsley.


Parsley on the plate,

to ward against contamination.

Parsley in the toga,

to protect against foes.

Parsley in the body,

to bring about early menstruation.

Parsley in the garland,

to hold off inebriation.

Parsley in the garden,

will bring about death.

For that is all the dead need.


Both a man hung at the gallows,

by Welsh Parsley,

and Petrosinella,

need the herb of Archemorus

adorning their graves

in order for their souls

to get past the barrier

of parsley and rue,

and onto the next life.


The picture above comes from my Parsley Butter Tea recipe.

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