UK Poet Ivor Griffiths :: Modern English Poetry :: Magic Medicine
Magic Medicine Print
By Ivor Griffiths
Slow hallowed whispers woke two girls
while a greasy snake oil man,
with whisky breath and yellow scarf,
dealt cards as the water boiled.

The magician coiled two hairs in a bowl
then sat in a weathered bronze chair,
got a knife, a pipe, a bottle, and a hat,
to deftly combine patchouli and lime.

Twins with cancer and curls,
with blood as thin as light,
were offered injected chemicals
from a magic stovepipe hat.

The snake oil man he ministered
with a liquid scent of faith. But
slowly and quietly both girls died.
Tragic but matter of fact.
Close Window