“And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see – or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.”
DAHLIA the past, my parents cultivate their gardens, knowing full well they were cultivating us too
WILD DAISIES first love, plucking the petals “He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me!”
GERBER DAISIES all the colors of our life, planted each Spring, they represent who we are differently, and as one
FIRE`N`ICE ROSES wedding flowers, symbolizing the passion and purity upon which we built our foundation of love and family and home
HYDRANGEA the flower of our parenting, warm, happy Cape Cod memories each summer as we watch our children grow–all the stages of their lives, and the laughter– all the laughter
STAR GAZER LILIES mystical flowers, sturdily symbolizing my belief in the stars and the world beyond that is both within my grasp and far enough that I have to keep reaching
Flowers We Grow
The light is our apostle.
As sisters, we come to tend gardens:
lay the soil rich
of labor and love.
Planting roots. Watching seeds sprout.
Determined to envelop our precious
offspring. First flowers, pansies, when tended to
last all summer long. Marigolds encircle the garden,
scaring the uninvited away. Poppies grow
the tallest, sucking energy from sun to pollen.
Roses climb and wind. Easter lilies flutter in the breeze.
We try to plant in just the right light,
but even then, weeds grow, vines
tangle. We keep clipping
thorns and bandaging pricks
for each rite of passage.
I am still sowing. I walk through
my garden. The lilac scent trails, always
just behind me, as I deadhead the annuals.
To keep them flourishing, I bathe them
in Miracle Grow: 15-30 for the hardy,
30-10 for the delicate. Stepping back,
I admire the garden’s beauty,
note its imperfections.
You pick your flowers
and pretty them in a vase
at the center of your table.
As if you work in the garden is complete,
you admire them like a prize.
Your Jack preferred piano to baseball.
No wonder he wears his hair so long,
your husband said.
I admired you for loving Jack
when he handed you a bouquet of pansies
But Liza, the marigold in her daddy’s eyes, standing stalwart
and brave, made him proud—
earned her way toAnnapolis;
Only it’s unfortunate the way she puts oceans between
herself and those who come
Cain quit his books to pursue a career
in horticulture; raising opiates and weed.
I thought he was only playing games
as a boy, singing Step on the crack,
Break your mama’s back.
I wish he had sung Jack’s rendition
of World on a String instead.
I haven’t the answer.
To me, my Clarissa is a rose,
but hard to touch, while her sister, Emma,
is smart as she is lily delicate.
We sit across the table from one another,
sisters bandaging wounds.
My hand reaches across
to touch yours.
I always thought you looked
best in sunlight. As a child,
I wished I could fit right into your skin.
How is it, you break
the memory, Clarissa and Emma
Have turned out so perfect?
My children have peeled me
to the core.