poetry · Recent

Tending the Garden

In memory of my grandmother, Irene Leister, who passed on January 3, 2018.


Warm sun on neck, shoulders
Toes wiggled down into cool soil
Just beneath a sun-warmed layer of earth.

Fingers grasp greens, near earth, and pull
Orange carrots, bent, twisted in shape,
Choosing the ones that seemed ready
Just the way she taught me.

Running back through green grass,
Tickling ankles and toes
Making way from bright sunshine heat
To cool, dim kitchen.
Laminate vinyl cold on my feet.

“Thank you, chickadee,” and a kiss
My reward, and in just another moment
A freshly peeled carrot in my hands
While she sliced the rest for our salad.

Fresh vegetables are forever connected
to my grandmother,
to the love she taught me
For the earth,
And the understanding she gave me
Of the rewards that come from tending soil.

Cultivating her vegetables
watering and pruning her roses
And always sharing the product of her labor.

She taught me that love is best shared.


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