Mother planted morning glories. The vines
Climbed up along the thin white strings
She anchored in the narrow beds that lined
The farmhouse porch. I happily recall
The twisting vines with thousand cheerful blooms
Bright blue against the old white stucco walls
That fastened German-speaking families well
To soil, with flowers inside in the rooms.
My mother knew that staying close to earth
And planting useful, living things secures
Us to our better natures, and ensures
That we remember well we too are earth
And merely momentary guests, whose worth
Is not inherent, but rather springs from doing
Worthy things, like planting morning glories
Or telling and enlivening children's stories.
One brother made a garden full of blue
And pink forget-me-nots, rose and rue,
Delphiniums, impatiens, mint and thrift.
I see, him, home from judging heavy, grueling
Matters, kneeling in his garden, weeding
Beds with that intensity of care those suing
Found would face them, sternly, but with wit,
When arguing in the courtroom where he sits.
Last night the morning glories that had grown
Along the porch of our white stuccoed home
Were killed by heavy frost, the shriveled, now-blown
Flowers but smudges of their former bloom,
No longer clean cerulean blue. But then
A high-pitched song came floating from an unseen
Sparrow, shattering the needless gloom.
Even when flowers die their seeds remain.