She Planted Flowers
by Maralee Gerke

The spring my father died
my mother put up a fence
and planted flowers.
Let her dog run free.

Flats of pansies, marigolds, and petunias
her flowerbeds brimmed with blossoms.
It was as if her soul
was finally allowed to soar

We never guessed
How much her spirit
had been constrained by his fear.
She with her crooked smile never let on.

I can see it as a faded picture now
My mother on hands and knees
muddied by the rich valley soil
filling her life with color.

Planting joy, planting hope.

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