I Am Made Up of My Grandmother's Gardens

By Joanne Kuemmerlin

I have eaten of my grandmother’s gardens;

Cucumbers grown by a chain link fence,

Plums slowly plumped from missiles to fruit,

Homegrown tomatoes carefully preserved,

butter fried fruit with cinnamon sugar.


I have slept in my grandmother’s gardens;

Pansies and snowdrops embroidered on pillowslips,

Daisies and starflowers in cutwork and lace,

Bright colored bouquets profuse across quilt tops.


I have learned from my grandmother’s gardens;

Roses and iris - for public view,

Hollyhocks and four o’clocks for play and surprise,

Peonies and honeysuckle for private space.


I have become my grandmother’s gardens;

A springtime hyacinth showing newly found colors,

A summertime sunflower waving showy and bold,

An autumn willow… weeping, weeping…

          dropping aging leaves

like gilded tears.