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Garden in Summer – A Prose Poem

August 4, 2013

Of neon zinnias, tomatillo lanterns, pregnant squirrels and luscious figs

Passion flower

Passion flower

The summer of 2013:  hot, dry and glorious.

Summer and the gardens are working overtime to produce their gorgeous colours, sweet fruit and an array of vegetable delights. There are the daisies (yellow, red and shocking pink), the pansies, the rhodos (burned by the hot sun),  the dahlias, and the roses. Oh, the roses, those special creatures so mysterious in their high-headed beauty.

And must not forget the passion flower, so stingy with its blooms, so enchanting when the bright sun forces it to display its intricate layers of outlandish petals, stamens and tendrils.

Summer and there are tomatillos hanging like tiny upside lanterns as yet unopened, the cherry tomatoes that go so well with the pesto sauce made from fresh basil, and the whopping big melons that remind me of Dad’s 41-pound squash so many years ago.

Summer and the potatoes, with their mauve and white flowers – banana potatoes, reds, whites – push skyward next to a vine with its lush leaves 10 inches across but which will yield only a handful of grapes.  Thanks goodness the blueberries have a better attitude: they will not stop offering ever more rich and tasty fruit for our home-made jam.

Summer and the lawns are brown everywhere. Ours has patches of brown where I sprayed a poison to get rid of the dandelions. Tiny hopping bugs are breeding there. Even smaller ants have taking over in parts of the house.

Summer and spiders mingle with the pollinator bees. Song birds – there a yellow goldfinch, there a nondescript sparrow – wrestle for space on the feeder, a hummingbird flits in and out of its shiny red feeder, a pregnant squirrel raids the feeder hanging upside down to reach.

Summer and the neighbours zucchinis are thriving so much so that we are inundated with his crop. “I don’t like the taste,” he explains, so we are stuck finding ways to use the ever-larger prizes. Zucchini bread, zucchini relish, zucchini this and that until we are sick of zucchini.

Summer and the fig tree presents us with a bumper crop of spicy-sweet meat dangling scrotum-like amidst the deep green leaves, waiting to be harvested. A reminder of another time, another country, another fruit, the equally sensuous durian.

Summer with the smell of meat sizzling on barbecues, of too much starter fluid mingled with the smoke of a just barely controlled blaze of yard waste, and of white jasmine mixed with purple wisteria blooms.

Summer and we can hear the honk of Canada geese flying low and in their perfect formation, the thunk of a scrub jay knocking against the bird feeder, the pop of the last of the Fourth of July firecrackers, and the backfiring of a motorcycle.

Summer and the old Fargo truck – flat tires, rusted out body, broken side window – cohabitates with a teenager’s hotrod, pumping out bass-laden Springsteen wannabes, gangsta rappers, and Adele’s “Rumour Has it.”

Yes, it’s the summer of 2013 and the living is still pretty easy for some of us. Flowers. Flowers, I say, and like the poet, I feel that way.


One Response to Garden in Summer – A Prose Poem

  1. Niki Verzuh Smith on September 1, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I found them. Lovely! xo N

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