Working In Mother’s Garden

Cameron Morse taught and studied in China. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014, he is currently a third-year MFA candidate at UMKC and lives with his wife, Lili, in Blue Springs, Missouri. His poems have been or will be published in over 50 different magazines, including New Letters, pamplemousse, Fourth & Sycamore and TYPO. His first collection, Fall Risk, is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press.

Working in Mother’s Garden

Down on her knees in the dirt,
no one beside her, no one caring

about the grass that overgrew
the garden stones, the weeds

that penetrated beyond their border
amid irises in her flowerbed,

all those years she prayed for me
and my baby sisters, prayed

against bad men and brain tumors.
Kneading prayers into the earth,

she zeroed in on dandelions and plantains,
on crabgrass and chickweed. Today

I am down on my knees, my hands
in her garden gloves, pulling ligaments.

I scrape out the debris of seasons,
the acorns and oak leaves, grow friendly

with grub, pill bugs, earthworms, angels
of the soil, a grackle walking

through the grass behind me like the heroin
addict stalking my baby sister.

One thought on “Working In Mother’s Garden

  1. I am one of those mothers in the garden and know how often my child is in my thoughts as I work with the wayward and stinging. Good work.


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