Hollyhock Heist


Since he's retired feels unproductive I find him in the garden
He loves to prune, weed, hack. Sixteen acres keep him busy
smack with fruits, blooms, herbs, in four symmetric plots.
This morning he waxes nostalgic at his Begonias, Cannas
Heavenly Blues, twining stalks to reach red panicles
that tempt ruby-throaters never slack, on track for nectar.

Says, Mother, years back, would tack string from my bedroom
anchored at the breakfast bay. Blue trumpets reached my sill
by Labor Day. Summers we would marvel at their glories.
I heisted Mrs. Steinberg's double Hollyhocks-couldn't resist,
toted them shedding topsoil to my mother. When they died
she planted tiny horseshoe seeds, watered well and fertilized.

"Biennials grow, don't show for two, but when they do, you know it."
Cheered, he pressed, "After all these years bereft, I now garden
every day and feel much better now confessing to the theft."

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