Great-Grandmother’s Garden

Richard Lemm

A gift of Island Poetry | Curated by Deirdre Kessler

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Pansies have the faces of lost children.
Iris unfurls its violet flag
for my son churned into the mud of France.
Foxglove, it heals your heart.
Lilies in their Easter vestments.
Never clip the dead buds of roses
like the neighbours do, you will hear
their roots cry all night in the soil.
Columbines have women’s mouths,
women who spend their last years alone.
Tulips? The souls of those knowing love
in such flagrant splendour they died
wanting more. Falling from heaven
the asters. Blue spikes of lupine nail
the earth in place. Moon hides
in chrysanthemums. Morning
glory winds around me
each day I awake. And when I die
blow softly, release
the dandelion seeds.


—Richard Lemm. Prelude to the Bacchanal. Ragweed Press, 1990.

Deirdre Kessler selects a poem a month by an Island poet for The Buzz.

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