Instructions for the gardener

In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s a poem I wrote years ago for my mom. She was an avid gardener back then with the greenest thumb I’ve ever known. Unfortunately, she had to stop when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called myasthenia gravis, resulting in general muscle weakness in her eyes and limbs, about 10 years ago (learn more about MG here: Still, I remember the sunroom overflowing with flowers and vines.

These are delicate creatures
That require sunshine and water
A weekly grooming against weeds
And plenty of gentle handling
The stems may be long and stiff
Much like wire wrapped in green
But snip carefully at a slant
Take care of the bright green leaves
They add character to the blossom
Be careful of the dozens of little petals
Do not lose any to the wind and dirt
They must fill the house with fragrance
Gently hold the stem, touch not the petals
Slide carefully into a crystal vase
Half filled with clear blue spring water
Add several more flowers of same variety
Certainly do not mix in the wild roses
Carefully clip some long greenery
Make sure they complement
The white and deep purple of the petals
Slide them to join the blooms
Carefully carry in to me.

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