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GARDEN BLOGGERS MUSE DAY

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:29pm


" A land without ruin is a land without memories. A land without memories is a land without history. Crowns of roses fade . Crowns of thorns endure. -Anon.

My mother died when she was 40 and I was four years old. My father , a farmer, had to place us in a nearby home for orphans until we three sisters were old enough to do farm work.

I was ten when I left the orphanage. I'll never forget the day Daddy took me to an old abandoned run-down farmhouse to show me the only place he and my Mom ever owned , but lost in a foreclosure.

Despite the neglect, I could still see the remnants of my Mother's garden - roses still struggling to bloom, apple trees with small fruit hanging from their gnarled limbs, and mildewed Lilacs.

In honor of my Mother's 99th birthday on July 2 I have written of that long ago garden :


FORECLOSURE


A faded gray monument
to a long ago life
windows
black gaping holes
remember summers
of laughter and song
winters of noses pressed against them
prayers for snow

Evil weeds
took notice
of the gardener's departure
choking, strangling
the hot Alabama sun
a witness to the garden 's death.

These were the people of the house:

Ruby
tall , brown and strong
worked the land
cabbages, onions, tomatoes,
green beans, black-eyed peas
okra , melons, beets
bounty of her table
sweat of her brow

Glen farmed the land
cursing the red clay earth
turning it about
until it was black
cotton, corn, peanuts
Irish and Sweet potatoes
tended from dawn to dusk

Early Spring
Came first born son Cecil
followed by three bonneted girls
Wilma, Carolyn and Linda
seeds they planted
sunflowers , four o'clocks
and daisies of course.

roses and lilacs perfumed the summer air
crepe myrtle, sweet shrub and lavender
also grew there.

Evenings on the front porch
in rocking chairs
Hank Williams sang of whipporwills
three sisters
kicked the can
Hot July nights
watermelon all around.

October came
and the last crop harvested.
The land lay barren and brown.

The music died
one cold Autumn night
and with it laughter
a freezing rain
beat down on sad faces

A wagon piled high
with a life :
Glen's rocking chair
he made of cedar
Ruby's roses all packed in pots
Cecil's battered oak desk
Wilma's handmade dollhouse
Carolyn's wooden rocking horse
Linda's baby bed .

That cold October day
they went away.




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