a note for moms managing summer


my mother doesn’t come home from the gym.

my mother comes in from the garden.

she works out.  she works hard.  she sees the work in front of her.

what needs to be weeded, what needs to be moved, what needs to be planted.

it’s as if the whole earth is a child to take care of.

mrs. harris

still as sweet

she peels off gardening gloves and there is dirt on her cheek.

right there, under her eye.

she wears the clothes that oblivious gardening mothers wear.  she isn’t looking at her reflection.  there is only the vision of what the flower beds could be, what they should be.

raised beds

from the sidewalk i can see what my mother can’t.

i can see what all mothers can’t see.

maybe later she’ll let herself look.  the violets and the blush and the bloom undeniable then.  maybe one slow walk around the front of the house, around the front of her life.  a few quiet moments, glass of white wine in hand, in the yard, flowers spilling into summer.

oh mother.

eve in her garden couldn’t see it either.  she couldn’t see eden.

she thought there was more, there just had to be.

what is your own garden compared to the maybe of something else?

lots of pots

the curse before the curse.  it seems we are formed with the inability to see the edens we exist within.  i work my fingers to the bone and i don’t tear down with my own hands.

but still…is it enough?

so i want to say to you mother ~

nicely done.

well played.

from where i stand i see your children growing up like olive shoots around your table. your young men like arrows and your young women like carved marble.

your life is looking like a well-watered garden from here.


gratitude list ~ one thousand gifts ~ 2023 – 2051

shirley temples
beach days
nail polish
weeding done
prayers for friends
roof top dining
up north on sunday
being okay
new schools
kissing abe
not worrying so much
air compressors
checks in the mail
too much tv
eli and mom on the sand
mason jars and roses
forgotten bills
littlest pet shop
well-watered gardens
white wine
lawn mowers
sand in my scalp
iced tea
lemon cake

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