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  • Gary Hunter

The Ritual - Feb. 16, 2023

feeling a little off today

or a bit lost or maybe both

and stuck in a slow gear

so I turn to “the ritual”

spin the dial click

and flick on the flame

hear the kettle’s low growl

rise in octaves to finally burst

in a soprano scream of steam

lean the bag of crushed yellow flowers

inside the curved porcelain and pour

take the facial of chamomile vapor

feel it snake up my nose and

dunk the wet bouquet once

twice four times and wait

the tradition the formality

the rite the ceremony the ritual

perhaps it is teamaking itself

that pauses the pull of affliction

sits me down refuses to budge

slow breathes the tightness

gathers at the knot

works the noose loose

as if the elements of the boil

the bag the dip and the wait

tack and turn the page of my day

which explain feeling better

well before the first sip

and the undrunk portion

I didn’t need after the last


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