house & garden

Every so often, we visit the cabin
where we first made love--
Long drive for a moment’s glance
confirming its decayed unrepair.

Then we drive by the red house
where I first nursed our baby girl
and our toddler tried to fly--
Cars rest on blocks in the yard.

My daylilies riot at that house.
My grandmother’s coveted peonies,
bleeding hearts, hosta shine like
dispirited jewels in the cabin garden.

Once home, we confront the stand
of leggy weeds I have yet to cut back--  
That first year, hoping for blossoms
of black-eyed Susan or Anne’s lace.

Bare stalks encroaching each summer,
lilac might be nicer, or dogwood-- 
But I embrace the invading weeds.
They seem to keep our home well tended.

Poem #7 of 30 Poems in November to benefit Center for New Americans.


  1. Home is such a warming concept!

  2. This says so much about family, the things that change over time and things that don't.
    I"m so impressed with your poem a day. I've been wanting to write a poem all week but nothing rises to the surface.

  3. I love the flowers in this, continuity in perennials, be they cultivated or... native.

  4. I like to go by the (two) houses I lived in when I was married, sometimes. The first one doesn't bear much sign of us, after twenty years, but the second one does. There are still the apple and maple trees I put in as well as my ex's smoke tree. It was really bare when we moved in, and I thought I would get to see those trees get big. I never feel sad about my marriage anymore, but those trees do make me sad sometimes. They're like children we had to leave behind.

  5. When I was about 11 my mom took me and my cousins to see the house she grew up in. We didn't knock on the door of the house we visited though, and there were no trees or flowers outside.

  6. family change and continuing vital current...all so serenely woven together.

  7. It is always so poignant, viewing places one has lived before. In this poem, I love the happiness and security one feels coming home to present-day happiness. No place like Home, kiddo!

  8. It's just flat-out terrific, pure and simple; the symmetry from stanza to stanza, the wonderful play between weed and flower--all of it just top-shelf.

  9. Gorgeously rendered. Your final line nailed your poem for sure.

  10. so beautiful... through and through!!!

  11. Such wonderful memories when we visited what was home to us before. Even weeds were as beautiful as flowers. Nicely Marian!


  12. Beautiful...I love to remember where we came from. Our first homes are now gone, but the memories are still there to walk through.

  13. (sighs) Ahhh... I loved this. Especially because I read whilst drinking a cup of real coffee (as in ground coffee), freshly brewed with hot milk. What a beautiful piece. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  14. thanks so much, friends. i like how this one turned out, too. i can see a couple tweaks i'd like to make... but i like it. xoxox


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!