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Mother's Gladiolas

Gladiolas in field

Mother's hands dig deep holes
in soft brown earth,
watering in the tender seedlings —
teaching me of the promise of flowers.

She was quiet about her thoughts and beliefs,
but I think she always believed
in the promise of flowers.

When we moved
to the old house on top of the hill,
next to the gladiola field,
she was even more quiet.

She planted no flowers there.
But the man who picked the gladiolas
brought her a big bunch
in all different colors every week.

I think she still believed in flowers
a year later when we moved
to a rural farm house in New Jersey —
She planted pansies all around the old tree

before the long days
when she took to her bed.

I must have been born
from her love of flowers —
I have planted them
wherever I have lived

Looking for dark rich soil
and a promise of flowers.

~Anne Bach