My mom just got back from visiting her family in the midwest. I haven’t been to the farm since before Grandma died but I remember the garden from my childhood–zinnias and tomatoes and mint.
Mothers and Daughters
by Jo McDougall
When I was a child
my mother and I traveled the long miles
to see her mother, once a year.
That hillside farm was mostly gravel,
the kitchen smelled like a churn,
guineas and chickens strutted the porch.
When we left,
my grandmother would stand
in her garden and wave.
I’d watch her a long time,
leaning out the window of the car.
My mother would say little on the way home,
her eyes now and then filling with tears.
Perhaps she was thinking of that garden,
the one she tried to replicate year after year,
every last pole bean and zinnia,
the one she left to me.