Grandma Camp’s Garden
Every Summer sweet peas fluttered their bright wings
among the tomatoes and onions in Grandma Camp’s Garden
Beginning in July with sweat dripping from her face
red from steamy pots she canned green beans
created spicy pickles and tomato sauce to fill the cellar.
She had a family of five to feed.
Plants meant survival for her then.
When she came to live with us plants became beauty.
Sweet verbenas sent and bright red flames of Indian paint brush
filled our car on drives in the country.
Roadside pull outs were her plant nursery.
We never came away from a visit to aunts or cousins
without an arm load of cuttings.
There may still may be a patch of asparagus
growing in Ponca City Oklahoma that was
originally carried from Aunt Lou’s in Winfield Kansas.
Yesterday I bought home primrose, wooly thyme
and verbena from Flowerland nursery.
No roadside sweetness in my California garden
but I do have an ancient cactus,
many spiky succulents and a new geranium
from friends growing among my tomatoes and zucchinis.
Thanks you Grandma Camp for teaching me
the wonderful sent of Summer gardens.