K. L. Marsh
K. L. Marsh grew up on the Straits of Mackinac with charming relatives who knew first-hand of the Great Depression and WWII, whose lives and loves ran the gamut from comedy to poetry and who taught her to love a turn of phrase descriptive of both. Since following her interests hither and yon, she resides in Lansing, Michigan, and returns often to scenes of her youth.
My mother’s petunias bloomed from April through
They bloomed through broken bones and cut knees,
through problems and solutions,
through my grandfather’s funeral and past my father’s job.
She could make them look like a picture
and no one asked her how.
My mother’s flowers were her couch,
Some day people will ask me how I stood it,
how I could possibly bear it
and I’ll tell them about my mother’s flowers.
When her heart cracked with each new diagnosis,
with false hope and faith that must have worn thin,
her flowers bloomed.
There were never any weeds or stray papers.
She never cried or told us what the closed doors meant.
She protected us against crabgrass and boll weevils,
against too much rain.
There were always red petunias and white,
purple and occasionally stripes.
From her kitchen window, she looked at them often.
I asked her later how she did it. How she kept us and
She said that she didn’t know but she did.
She had to.