22 years ago this week

Here’s another post from some time back, one I have updated to reflect current experiences: the graduation and the 22nd birthday of the subject of this brief reflection.

azaleas by Ann E. Michael

The morning was hot, and I had not kept up with the gardening. I needed to get the zucchini seeds, etc. in the ground before the weather got too hot and dry. We were a little behind schedule with the garden because we had a 17-month-old, and I was 9 months pregnant. I was sowing and weeding as women have done since the earliest establishment of agriculture, heavy with child, my back aching, working like a woman obsessed.

You know, that “nesting” thing you hear about with mothers-to-be? I was a week overdue and sick of waiting around; and  gardens won’t wait. The weather was perfect for planting the post-frost seeds. The time was–of course–ripe. Eight hours later, I gave birth to a daughter.

A couple of years later, too busy to write much, this set of cinquain stanzas arrived in my mind (published in 2001 in June Cotner’s anthology Mothers & Daughters, A Poetry Celebration).

Now, that infant is a grown woman with a  college degree. Happy Birthday, Daughter.

To My Daughter

Early
morning I had
planted seeds, cucumber,
melon, squash—I pressed them into
warm earth.

The blood
in my body
sang and I listened for
a cry to join my own—straining
to hear.

And there
you were, all pink,
unfolding in our hands,
a blossom opening with a squall:
daughter.

© 1994 Ann E. Michael

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3 comments on “22 years ago this week

  1. gaiamethod says:

    That is really beautiful. Planting a garden is very much like ‘growing’ a child. What you put in…you get out!

    Like

  2. singingbones says:

    sweet poem, Ann…. the years go by so fast, so much happens…. then you fnd that memory and it feels as if hardly any time has passed since that blessing came into your hands. thanks for helping me to remember too…. SB

    Like

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