How Does Your Garden Grow?

This year, I planted the garden how I was drawn to this patch of earth in spring — not how I thought I should plant it. For years now, I’ve been the most diligent of gardeners — all those tidy rows of beets and broccoli. This year, I ate some radishes and let the rest go to seed and flower. Marigolds run rampart. I duck beneath the sunflowers. Somewhere in the calendula the peppers are hidden.

There’s a definite metaphor here, a clear lesson, but to heck with that. August and flowers. They’ll last little enough as it is.

Me, the Mother, Grimacing

Sunday morning, my daughter drives on icy roads to meet a friend to ski. In the passenger seat, I grimace. There’s no more polite way to reveal my actions: I’m grimacing. My daughter — perfectly capable, but my God, she’s 15, driving on icy roads.

She intends to be driving thus for decades to come, without me, of course, grimacing away in the passenger seat.

We head over the mountain and down along the river where the roads improve. Driving, she talks to me, as if the steering wheel has loosened her natural reticence. She laughs and confides, there’s just so much you don’t need to know.

Oh, my Queen of Economy. Wise and experienced beyond your years.

On the way home, we stop for coffee, and I drive while she eats and talks and plays country music that, good lord again, I’m becoming quite fond of.

Who knows will happen next year, this summer, this spring, this very week — goodness, even this afternoon with so much yet spread out before us? For this moment, here we are.

On the way home, I pull over, hand her the keys, and knock off the grimacing.

Coyotes feed themselves on gaunt dreams of spring. 

— David Budbill, “March”

East Burke, Vermont