Family Friday: Have Garden–Will Grow


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

 flowering vines.

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 snake?

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

but unobserved:

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,

and watermelon

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.

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