My Mother’s Garden Knife
Blessed is she who weeds her mother’s gardens
And every garden that I've had was somehow hers.
Even this one, so unlike her Pennsylvania stone walls
Enclosing rhubarb, rhododendron, and strawberries,
Roses, foxgloves, peonies, and mint.
She taught me everything I know about a garden,
How to plant, and how to weed
Garden knife in hand, long days’ Summer hours
On her knees beside the old red barn,
Her cats for companions in the catnip,
In the buzzing herb beds conversing with the bees.
Through years of pain and loss, depression,
In the herbs and flowers she knew joy.
Here in this dry and stony desert garden,
Her steel blade in my hand,
She gently whispers green thumbed lessons
Instructs me “Listen,
From the pines the doves are calling,
The redbud’s in full bloom.
Take comfort in the iris,
Take comfort where you can.”