Lilacs, Asparagus, A Broken Pear Tree

Between thunderstorms
a car pulls into the driveway
turns around, then parks,
a little old blonde woman
asks if I remember her

no

she takes a step back
so I can look at her
'I sold you this house'

oh

what she misses most
are the lilacs
in fuller bloom this year
than she's ever seen them,
the lilacs all my friends
are wild about I take
for granted

she remembers planting this bush
and look how this tree
planted for her son
has grown

nearly three years
since she was here last,
I invite her in
lead her through room after room

the paneling and sheetrock
she put up is taken down,
the walls replastered,
papered over

her daughter in law remembers
how she used to sleep
in what's now my study


I show her the pear tree
split in half by a storm
last summer, but it's still
got blossoms

and how do I like
her asparagus?

I've never seen it

out by the lilacs
she shows me knee high stalks
I thought were weeds

and there's more further back,
these were the wild ones

step by step
she tries to walk the rows
she remembers planting
but can barely find them,
shows me last year's stalks
gone to seed,
other plants just starting

after she left it poured
for three days running.

by Rochelle Ratner

Comments (3)

Mmm, yummy. I like, indeed.
This poem is wonderful. An experience many of us have had, but you've given it a vivid and fresh perspective.
Well this is very well done, Rochelle. Best poem posted today, in my not so humble opinion.