I spent the morning with women

measuring, stirring, pouring

oils and herbs together into pots

in a round hut in the woods. We made

Lizard Creme, cough syrup, and soap

none of them, admittedly, a balm

for lizard-brained politicians

dropping bombs on our liberty

nor cures for the awful virus of hate

that has befallen us, nor cleanse-alls

for the filth of this new reality we face.

But as we stood there together—

seven women re-claiming our right

to care for our communities with this craft,

rediscovering our power to make

a simple salve for the cracked hands

of all the work-worn people we love,

reactivating our ability to brew

a simple syrup that will soothe the throats

and aching lungs of the women

and children who spent their whole night

writhing and wailing in terror or disbelief,

and re-imagining our impulse to create and

cut a clay soap that could cleanse

the salty sweat and grime of tears

from the weathered faces of our friends

so they can continue with their days

in some semblance of dignity

in the midst of such indecency—

I remembered something in my bones

a distant knowing not my own, but older

of how we have survived this far

of how we will continue

and of what can never

be taken