Poetry of Kansas

Victory Garden

Father kept the rows clean.
Watered from the well
when sun denied rain.
He let me play between the lettuce
and tomato vines on a knoll
in the center of things. One day
I found a baby rabbit and made
a crib from a shoe box. Too late,
he told me, to love it now.
When the orphan died, I buried it
on the knoll in view of corn, green and gold.
I adorned the grave with gray,
brown castor beans someone had planted
on the edge and Father saw no reason
to uproot. He told me to wash
my hands before dinner
because he'd heard the beans
grew from poison seeds. We prayed
together at the kitchen table
and ate the corn roasted.
Carnivores scattered the grave beans
and assailed the body.
__Myrne Roe
 
 
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March 7, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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