Every summer I remember
the yard overgrown with thatch,
home to grasshoppers and praying mantis.

Grandma, graceful in the gnarled patch,
picked, nodded, and smiled,
her sorrow forgotten.

Prickly in her hands, every bouquet
was sunshine. For one moment
the light  smoothed her wrinkled face.

I seldom entered her dark house
where the glow would fade
and the carrot weed would shed its lace. 

—MaryEllen Letarte, Lunenburg, MA