I emptied my spice drawer today

I emptied my spice drawer today
all the old, stale, unnamed and unremembered
knots untied
opened packets
prodded lightly with a tongue-moistened finger,
tasted, and spilled out

I place each herb upon my tongue.
It is a sacred act.
The kitchen is a holy place.

Releasing the spent, unused bits of the past
ambitions unrealized,
under-used, forgotten, neglected
delights untasted

I let them go.

I let them fall
drifting or dropping by their nature
into the compost

Perhaps,
I should have lit a small fire
burned each one with a prayer
of thanks
for past meals, good food well-seasoned,
healing teas,
the comfort of their pungent aromas
the life-affirming bite of their heat

Not the sky, but the earth will receive them
returning to the soil
dispersed
by spade and rain
adding their wild spirits to new growth
and their fire
to the next generation

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