Talk Radio, D.C.
Leave fatback and a copper penny
on a wound 'til it draw out the poison,
'til the penny turn green.
Tobacco's what works on a bee-sting
but for poison ivy - I'm serious, now -
catch your first morning urine in your hands
and splash it on that rash.
When they had the diptheria epidemic
I was burning up with fever, burning and burning.
When the doctor left the house, my grandmother
snuck in the back door with a croaker sack of mackerel.
She wrapped me all up in that salt mackerel.
The next morning my fever broke
and the fish was all cooked.
Published in Body of Life (Chicago: Tia Chucha Press, 1996).
© 2009 Elizabeth Alexander and Southern Spaces