Achillea Millefolium

Yarroway, Yarroway, bear a white blow,

One of the herbs dedicated to the Evil One
yet daubed by Achilles (except on his heel?),
loved by butterflies, hummingbirds, bees,
none of whom need to know if another
loves them back, none of whom need
any secret spells to determine by.

If my love love me, my nose will bleed now.

If my love love me, we are only in the garden,
crushing aromatic leaves in our fingers,
ignorant of any history less happy than this
present, blameless of curses, spells.
Devil’s Nettle. Bad Man’s Plaything.

Bitterish, astringent


Contributor’s Notes: Marilyn Caviccia has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Journalism from Ohio University. She lives in Chicago, where she is an editor at the American Bar Association, as well as a freelance editor and writer. Her poems have appeared in Cider Press ReviewNaugatuck River ReviewThe Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and Alimentum: The Literature of Food. You can follow her at