Have Garden — Will Grow
Kylie Louise McCormick
I dug my heel into the poppies,
mistaking them for thistles.
The year after that, they couldn’t stop
I grew a thumb as green as my heel,
following my mother’s instruction.
Strawberries to shade the roots of
She taught me to turn out the plant,
spread its roots before placing
and covering with dirt, water, &
our sunlit laughter.
Greenhouses are full of expensive dreams
and each spring my mother and I go dreaming.
She finds me lost with the bees & chatting with
a greenhouse cat.
Humid homes full of growing wonders,
how can I not get lost? We compare
plants–health, size, look–at times find
an extra sprout
a new volunteer, just like me the day
my Grandma’s little sister and I picked out
matching plants while I picked up the new grasses
for the bay.
At the lake, I hear stories
of the garden my Grandma used to keep
and, don’t I remember where we buried
That is where she waged a war
with the rabbits over her fields
of strawberries. Foe turned to friend
when strawberries turned lawn.
I carry her with me, replacing sprinkler
heads and planting by the bay. Reshaping
the land, digging holes, turning over plants
and spreading roots.
There was a garden there, in those cities
far from home, where I could escape
and pretend to read while watching
the pollinators and people.
I’d whisper encouragement to the flowers
I didn’t plant while seeking out a secluded
nook to tuck myself away neatly, observing
the ducks on a pond in London,
the people on a stroll in Lincoln.
Making friends with spiders, ants, and other
creeping crawling critters.
Home again, home again and my
how a garden grows. Waiting out
the snow now April rain with
an indoor start.
We are sprouting traveling seeds
shared from my Aunt’s garden on a hill,
flowers, tomatoes, cucumber, squash,
I hope will grow the size of the one
my dad brought home 32 years ago
to share with my pregnant mom, who
ate the whole thing.