she tells me in soft lilting voice,
that these things take time to grow
as i pat the soil neatly, gently around the stalk,
drizzle a bit of water, and place the pot
beside my window, where i am sure
the morning light will strike, brighter than oil-lamp.
in my child eyes, the seed leaves are gathering strength,
wind power and soon there will be a tree in my room.
taking my small hands, she leads me
to shell-cased windows, overlooking the fields of sugarcane.
with a steely gaze, she surveys the sloping hills and trees, as
one familiar with the grooves of the skin, parting of the limbs,
sweaty arms in harvest, sweet partake of freshly cut cane on mouth,
filling stomachs, rooting faith deeply in the sun-baked land.
her petite frame belies strength of raising five children,
and caring for the plantation families, all sharing the same roots.
she knew all their names, including their children, grandchildren
as one who has planted all the stems in the open field.
my recollection of her is faint now, but i remember
her delicate hands gifting me with more than just
a pot of mongo seeds
Posted for Real Toads: I chose the vintage picture of my maternal grandmother. She was a sharp and well-traveled woman even in her later years.
and D'verse Poets Pub: Poetics - in Schiller's footsteps