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Milk & Honey

I was a sick kid for a while.

By Silver Serpent BooksPublished 21 days ago 2 min read
11
Milk & Honey
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Metal scraped against metal

And this low I could feel the radiating heat of the stove

Against my fever-chilled face,

Smell the denim of my father's jeans

And the leather tag on the back

As though he hadn't worn them hundreds of times.

.

The burning ache in my chest

Grown from weeks of coughing

Had turned into a rampaging wildfire complete

With embers tickling my throat and smoke turning my eyes teary.

Nothing at all would fix it, soothe it, let me rest.

Not the heavy drugs, poisons, or opioid cough medication.

.

It was a clawing plea,

Tugging on belt loops after school

And sitting in the dark kitchen to the scratch, scratch, scratch

Of the whisk fixing up the cure.

My milk and honey.

The snack of dreams.

.

Soft on my scratched throat,

It trailed into my belly and bloomed,

Radiating warmth like the summer sun

Through my entire chest,

Through my thoughts

Until I was full, full, full of happiness again.

.

Young and tired, woken up again by a fit,

And there it was...

The scratch of the whisk following the click of the stove,

The soft pad of feet down the stairs.

Hush whispers of a French lullaby, a second mother tongue,

The language of my dreams.

.

The language of milk and honey, lait et miel,

Is warm on my tongue and deadly sweet,

The kind of saccharine taste that drips off sunsets

And floats across warm summer showers.

The kind that wrapped arms around me,

Stopped the barking cough from continuing.

.

Lait et miel, milk and honey.

I can smell toothpaste, the mouthwash,

The imperfectly removed cologne from my father

And deep in my chest beside the soothed cough

I can feel the satisfaction of safety,

The innate knowledge that this will all be okay.

.

Because fear is just a passing pang of hunger,

A starved breath that will eventually be satisfied.

It was never about the sugar or the soothed sickness,

But the promise of the warm, unending care of a father.

It was always about the compassion in his eyes

And the soft milk and honey dreams I fell asleep to.

.

Elementary school, junior high, high school,

The cough went away

But the sweet decadence of that milk and honey,

The sound of the metal whisk

And the smell of denim and leather

Never faded, never dulled, never died.

.

I reached and reached and reached

For those memories

And swallowed them whole,

Ingesting and remembering entire seasons of my life

And inhaling the best bits and pieces

Of that precious, childhood love.

GratitudeFree VerseFamily
11

About the Creator

Silver Serpent Books

Writer. Interested in all the rocks people have forgotten to turn over. There are whole worlds under there, you know. Dark ones too, even better.

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Comments (3)

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  • D.K. Shepard20 days ago

    You really struck a marvelous chord with the strong sensory imagery (loved the scratching of the whisk) and nostalgia for holistic remedy!

  • L.C. Schäfer21 days ago

    Got me a little choked up myself over here 🥲❤️

  • Suze Kay21 days ago

    This is so beautifully tactile! I feel this way about shower steam and the smell of vicks vaporub, after my bout with the whooping cough.

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