Issue 4 – Sedlacek

LB Sedlacek

Balm of Gilead

I met a lady once and she told me
her Mom was full-blooded Cherokee
and used to live in the mountains
of North Carolina – high in the hills —
where they trapped bears and small birds
for food years ago
soothing their wounds
with melted wax off the buds
of trees – now called
Balm of Gilead trees
named after the Bible story —
and then she told me tales of the Cherokee
and how they’ve survived
passing down their history
through word of mouth
and how she went back to the
mountains and dug up a Gilead tree
planting it in her back yard —
with enough buds growing for her to make
the balm and pass it out to people —
along with the story —
to heal their wounds;
I know ‘cause she gave some to me.