Now the water in the saucepan was off the boil
my mother would turn, spluttering, from the can of kaolin
she was about to apply to a boil
on the back of my neck to clean
the surrounding area. The icing on the cake. These tears of gum
on the Christmas tree the closest we'd as yet come to myrrh,
though tincture of myrrh was still prescribed for gum
and mouth disorders. Christmas Eve. A mere
two days till the hunters would raise the puss,
a pack of hounds starting it from its form
and following it through the surrounding area till, jingle-jangle,
its nozzle would fill with blood. As yet, a little bloody pus
on this morning's poultice-gauze the closest we'd come to the form
of a star halted in a sky of china-clay.
myrrh(mûr)━━ n. 没薬(もつやく) ((香料・薬剤にする熱帯樹脂)).n.
- An aromatic gum resin obtained from several trees and shrubs of the genus Commiphora of India, Arabia, and eastern Africa, used in perfume and incense. Also called balm of Gilead.
- See sweet cicely (sense 2).
[Middle English mirre, from Old English myrrha, from Latin, from Greek murrha, of Semitic origin.]
noun [C or U]
1 an oil that is obtained from particular tropical trees and used especially to treat injuries or reduce pain:
a new skin balm
2 something that gives comfort:
Her gentle words were a balm to me.