Your Green Thumbs


When the breeze came
it shook the magnolia tree
shedding husks of moonlight
slick under foot.
The waxy pedals left us weightless
while the wind slapped our cheeks red
pricked our skin to life
carrying the memory of you.

Above the cemetery
wedged between fingers of sky and stone
a banquet of gray hid behind glass
dulling my insides.

I picked a loose thread
from the blanket at my feet
remembering how your
teeth blossomed from your lips,
your eyes greened in sunlight,
before your cheeks hollowed
and your organs tired
turning your skin
shades of fallen plums.

You spoke of trees,
soil composition,
how to look for the fifth leaf
before pruning roses
to listen to the language of flowers
never dismissing me and my desert ways.

You gave me bouquets of peonies every spring.
I liked how some held their breath
while others opened in flight
picked from your garden
blushing pink and ivory
thick with nesting shades
leaving trails of ants on my wrists.

Though you favored daffodils
the unabashed color of first blooms,
first loves, first signs,
lifting you from the dregs of winter.
When I see them, I think of you
find you in your son’s eyes
hear you in his laugh.

I never thanked you for allowing
the fruit to fall under a carefully
tended tree, teaching us
we are all just gardens in need of care
someone willing to toil for hours
with hunched back and achy knees
fingers blackening with earth
sitting with patience
we thrive under
green thumbs.


I must be offline for a stretch. Summer is here and I will be traveling with my family, enjoying the moments. Happy summer and writing to you all!




19 thoughts on “Your Green Thumbs

  1. Don Royster

    I am so envious of you, someone who can come up with this line: “we are all just gardens in need of care,” And you say you want to write a novel. I think you are meant to poet. What a gift you have. Have to tell you. There’s some Southern in you. That whole first stanza has Southern written all over it.

  2. FictionFan

    Lovely poem! And ooh, happy journey! Will the Smoke inspire you to write, I wonder? Be careful walking those streets – every stone contains a blood-drenched story… 😉

    1. desertdweller29

      Hahah! Yes, I’m quite scared now… So excited, you have no idea! This desert dweller hasn’t traveled much across the pond. Looking forward to cobblestones and crumpets!

  3. Debbie

    This is hauntingly beautiful, DD! Your descriptions of that magnolia transport me back to Mississippi, and reading your words about the peonies makes me feel those crawling ants. Well done, my friend. Enjoy your travels, be safe, and soak up lots of experiences to write about!

  4. thefeatheredsleep

    I shall miss you – but I’m so happy you are enjoying time with your family and may you have a really lovely Summer my friend! This was just the perfect poem to leave behind for us to remember your gorgeous writing. The images here were outstanding and so varied and yet, all went so well together and the poem reads so smoothly and takes you through more than one set of emotions and more than one landscape which is really the best poem of all because afterward you just want to re-read so you can experience that journey all over again and it leaves you with a potent aftertaste that you remember rather than simply forgetting. Well done. I believe this is much like you, someone I could never forget, both for her ability as a writer and her lovely self. Hugs. Enjoy.

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