Poem: Seeds


Here in the middle of the U.S., we just passed the frost date. So it’s time to plant. Here’s a seasonally-inspired poem I wrote:


“Here it is,
The start of my first garden,”
she tells him.
Two dozen flat seeds
the color of milk, round with a point,
pour from a paper packet.

He wants to know what else she plans to plant
other than bell peppers.

She hasn’t decided yet,
but thinks it will be wonderful
to raise her own food.
She’ll cook more from scratch,
maybe even learn to can.
Gardening is great exercise;
she knows she’ll lose weight.
She hopes to figure out that sewing machine
she picked up at a garage sale
to make her own dresses.
Who knows?
She may need maternity clothes soon.
Healthier living should improve their chances.
At least she thinks so.
She wants to know what he thinks.

He thinks it seems like a lot to expect
from one little handful of seeds –
to grow a whole new life.


This poem originally appeared in “Mid-America Poetry Review.”

Poem: Missouri River Town

It’s National Poetry Month, and once again, Missouri is experiencing spring storms and flooding. I wrote this poem a few years ago, after driving through a small town that frequently floods and had been hit particularly hard the year before when the Missouri River overflowed its banks.


*Missouri River Town

In the last block before
The capricious water
A parade of houses on stilts
But no Uncle Sam hats
Or juggling pins spinning
Dour faces on most
Gray at the edges
Permanent five o’clock shadows
From silt slopped
Around the bottoms

One bright countenance
Costumed as the canary
Emerging from the coal mine
Fresh painted optimistic yellow

The show goes on


*This poem originally appeared in Well Versed.