Home Grown
by Carl Palmer

Rows of daffodils grew by our porch with
scattered bunches in the yard, short-lived
as we six kids plucked bouquets for Mom.

Those flowers sprouted in the same place,
blossomed every year, not planted by us,
just came with the house like the rose trellis
and boxwood hedge rows Dad kept trimmed.

Though we did live in a farmhouse on a farm
with a big barn on Old Mill Road in Virginia,
the only garden tried was my Tommy Toe bush
from the Farmers Market lasting maybe a week.

Mom bought a Rose of Sharon Crepe Myrtle,
planted it outside her kitchen window, watched
it grow into a ten-foot tree, her pride and joy.

Another success was the peppermint Dad dug
from an old saw dust pile at the plywood mill
he put by the leaky spigot of our pump house.

Returning from Tacoma, Mom and Dad gone,
my sister now in the house, a lot has changed,
but Mom’s tree and Dad’s peppermint remain.

I remove shoots from her tree and a root ball
of his peppermint, home grown provenance
to Tacoma, southern transplants, them and me.


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