It stands on the shelf of the pantry,
shoulder to shoulder with the other
white canisters, sheepish and filled
with its brown-powdered shame:

in a glaring overreach of naming, it falls
far short of the needle-floored forest
evoked by rosemary, or the bite of dill
and mustard, and whatever function
somebody hoped that tumeric might fill.

Sage, for instance, seems to know its place,
that it’s set aside almost solely for poultry,
as opposed to a spice someone named “all,”
which barely embodies “some,” and in ways
is little more than a synonym for “cinnamon.”