Close-up of peony blooms.
Image by Lolame from Pixabay

Peonies (In the Garden, Always)

A poem about my mother’s beautiful touches

My mother’s hands, freckle specked,
are small and busy as crab spiders
in the garden, always.

With a dull steak knife she saws stems
of the heaviest peony blooms
who kiss the ground in high spring,
to bring their color in for lunch
with our butter-bread and
bread and butter pickles
from the dust-encrusted jar.

I watch her dappled hands,
eye level through the canning jar,
zhushing up the flowers.

They lift their faces,
still sleepy, dripping dew
and ants big as blackberry fruitlets,
to sugar the air and turn,
gradually, gazing back
eye level through the window
seeking their ants and spiders
in the garden, always.

Edie Meade is a poet, essayist, and literary fiction writer with a background in visual arts. Her topics include parenting, society, economics, science, and creativity. Subscribe to her weekly Author Newsletter for exclusive content, or connect on social media.

A compassionate and opinionated human being. | Fiction author and visual artist in Central Appalachia. | Give my newsletter a try:

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