Friday, May 08, 2009

For Mother's Day



"Clearing the Garden"

In memory of my mother
Irene F. Miller, 1918 - 2002

There's nothing left of summer but the stakes
that held tomato vines and pole beans clear
of earth, though I have pulled and tossed their bounty
unharvested onto the compost heap.
Just rows of empty soil and weathered poles
remain behind, and faded ties of cloth
which once sustained fecundity.  When I
have gathered those, the garden will be bare.

The pantry shelves still hold a few sealed jars
from last year's crop that shimmer in the light
the swinging bare bulb casts; bell peppers gleam,
string beans in vinegar reflect the light,
tomatoes, okra, squash, and sugar peas
burn with the very last of vanished light.


3 Comments:

Blogger Mary Paddock said...

Howard,

I'm never sure if you're looking for comments when you post your work on your blog, but am always pleased when you do.

This one is no exception. I am especially fond of the details in the second strophe.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Mairi said...

I've arrived here from Tony Williams site - a good recommendation and am happy to have found you. I still have a few bottles of my mum's jam from 1999, the summer before she died - all that's left of it, as you say. A lovely piece.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Hedgie said...

Thanks Mary and Mairi; I appreciate your stopping by and letting me know that you liked the piece. Thanks again.

5:24 PM  

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