Garden Fever


When I have spare moments

I bike to our local garden store

Thick with greenery and

Tchotchkes made of brass and glass,

Ornaments molded overseas

To make your garden festive

Like Christmas


And walk aisle after aisle

Coveting the swooning cherry tree

The gray-green olive

(What color is that in Crayon talk?)


My hand skims the ground covers

Packed tight in their plastic shells

They overflow

Swinging their elbows over the rims.


They feel like cotton on my palm


I float past the grasses,

Salvias and Clivias,

Locked in my thoughts

When my foot scrapes a metal box that

Juts in my path

Tearing my skin


I pour water from my bottle

Onto the cut

Cold and cold again

And limp to the daisies

The welt swells with blood

And I ask a gardener if she has a band-aid

So I don’t bleed on the concrete


She runs to the first aid kit

Brings back two plasters

And asks if there is anything,

Anything more she can do


They will cover the box

So no one else trips

And she

Thanks me for being a good sport


I try to be a good sport

Calm and Buddha-like

It’s not her fault

It is what it is

What it is.




About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in 30poemsin30days, american indian, garden fever, gardening. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Garden Fever

  1. Russ L says:

    Nice poem. A good example of how poetry incorporates the senses.


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