Poem: "Feminist Medicinal"

By: Sara E. Hovet

Pacific yew gleams arterial
and contains healing taxol
for my uterine and ovarian tissue.
Kinnickinnick has a knack
to be a DIY for UTI.
Pipsissewa makes a mouthful of music and candy and a smoother period.
Meanwhile Oregon grape
digs her yellow roots
into the soil, arboreal antibacterial
and I breathe on her until
respiratory moisture darkens her waxy leaf,
a gift of carbon dioxide
for daily ballooning me with oxygen.

Alongside, the willow twists slender, her white bark decocted
for menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth. Moss makes spongy continents
and the proto-sanitary napkin.
I press my cheek against her.
My understory medicine chest,
canopy apothecary,
lung lichen breathes
nitrogen and sweet assurances.
Forest, extravagant pharmacy. Patriarchy means the world
was not made with me in mind.
But I walk in the woods and
my friends are everywhere.