Regina Garson's Blog

Wildflowers in the Field

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Red Clover

The other day, I was wondering if you could do a poem as a blog post: proper style for the medium, former English teacher, obsessions of editors, and all that. Then I was thinking, the reason I set off on my own blog adventures was that sometimes I get plain tired of somebody telling me what I got to write and how. The muse was calling. Loudly. And sometimes I actually do write poetry.

“Wildflowers in the Field” is about a trip back home. It is written in a free verse form: no rhyme, meter, or any particular line length. Free verse poetry flows like the spoken word.

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Wildflowers in the Field
By Regina Garson

Mama and I decided to take a walk,
look for wildflowers,
out by the field—
where we used to have the garden.
We walked out by the edge of the woods—
or what used to be the woods.
Long time ago.
Clear cutting changed that.
Now it’s just a little wooded patch inside the old pasture.
We went walking out there—
looking for wildflowers.
They were tiny, scattered, and not quite abundant—
yarrow, buckwheat, and minute purple flowers,
neither of us knew the name,
and pink sweet Williams, or creeping phlox,
some call them “stinking Billy.”
Mama knows that story.
She can explain it—
but I can’t.
Walking by the edge of what used to be the forest,
fleabane daisies, and tiny yellow clover flowers.
They’re wild too.
I mean the tiny yellow clover flowers may be wild,
but it’s hard to say—
Maybe they’re not wild at all.

I remember the first time we broke that ground
and planted a garden—
beans, potatoes, radishes and corn.
I sure did love fresh corn from the field.
Always did.
Daddy always made sure there was some planted just for me.
I remember how we used to dig and hoe,
until we didn’t think we could lift that hoe another time.
That ground was hard.
But we dug it.
Daddy had an old rusty plow—
I never remember it being anything but rusty.
He must have got it from somewhere.
Not new.
I mean it was always old.
If you had a mule, you hooked it to that.
If you didn’t, you pushed it.
Sometimes there was a mule and sometimes there wasn’t.
Later there was a tractor.
Whatever we had to do to get it done,
we got that field plowed.
Then we carefully placed each seed into the rich Pea Ridge dirt.
Sure was good dirt on “The Ridge”
Counted those seeds—
the right number for each vegetable, hill and row.
And the right space apart.
Then we watched as they sprouted.
It’s more than a day—
tending a garden
and pulling the weeds.
Some folks can’t tell the difference in a weed and a wildflower.
We figured it out though—
or we thought we did.
We were picking beans, digging potatoes and pulling corn—
in the field with Mama and Daddy.
The heat of the sun.
Sweat.
Year after year, we toiled—
We knew how to work
and we grew strong—
fed well on the harvest of that field.
We’re all grown now.

The garden has been replaced by a field of red clover.
Daddy planted it for his bees.
The red clover is lush—
abundant.
I remember picking clover bouquets when I was a child.
I sure did love a bouquet of red clover.

The ground is still soft from the last time Daddy had it plowed.
Mama and me stepped carefully—
so as not to trip over the clumps of soil—
not fully settled from that last time it was turned.
Not even enough rain yet to pack the earth.
The soft ground stands ready.
It’d be easy digging now—
to plant a garden in that field.
It sure would be a good garden.

But Mama and I were looking for wildflowers that day,
Daddy’s beehives stacked empty by the side of the field.
The blackberries were abundant though—
two good patches blooming across the way.
“It’ll be a good blackberry harvest this year,” I said.
Mama shook her head,
“There won’t be much left after the deer and turkeys get their fill.”
The woods aren’t what they used to be.
We both knew that.
But the clover is lush—
abundant—
red waves of nectar.
Daddy saw to that.
It was for his bees.
But the hives stand empty.
Rotting.
Daddy’s gone—
but the fields don’t know that yet.

Mama and I walked back to the house.

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