Remembering Fever Trees


She followed a decoction ritual…
steeped Assam’s potent chai leaves
with cardamom, peppercorn and cloves,
and honeyed milk in an earthen pot,
‘til she caffeine drifted…lulled
to remembered images of Africa and India
though she had never lived there
where cobras lapped saucered milk
on verandas framed with fever trees.

Her childhood fever had been real…
had extended into months
of icy compress…twisted sheets
and sorted consciousness
with white and yellow pills
slipping down the hurt…
until the real escape
when Rudyard Kipling entered
transported in a book
carried to her by her father
to divert her pain with stories
and words so powerful
that they drugged her senses
and inoculated care.

Bonnie Marshall

“The Elephant’s Child” by Rudyard Kipling:  A Reading Just For Fun from Bonnie

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
Rudyard Kipling

Art by Andrea Clare

12 thoughts on “Remembering Fever Trees

    1. My computer has a tiny microphone and I downloaded a free WMA to MP3 converter. I think most (?) WordPress themes allow media download. (Sounds like I know more about this than I do.) Bit of a learning curve, but so worth it. Yea, do it, Jana!

  1. Found the mic on my Mac… it’s here staring at me. Thanks…..
    I think this is another one of my favorites, Bonnie. It’s tea season and I’m writing about epidemic fevers and I had to look up “fever tree” it was so familiar. Not sure if it is the acacia or the rock band that I’m remembering….or both. 🙂

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