Defying the somber shades of dead in a Midwestern Winter,
when most everything surrounding the small, plexiglass world was limp and lifeless,
hidden beneath thick, mean layers of snow and ice.
green was something you could see, smell and touch
in Mom’s greenhouse.
Stepping down into its steamy realm was like discovering a distant jungle.
I’d sit on the cement stairs,
arms hanging over the metal railing moist from the humidity.
Galoshes and socks dangling precariously.
Watching Mom dig her hands into a soily concoction.
Inhaling strange, sweet smells of bone meal and blood meal.
Manure and lime.
Nurtured with the same intensity Mom tended her flock.
Passionate and determined all should flourish.
Cultivating her offspring with a unique and fertile mix of love and cynicism,
melancholy, curiosity and eccentricity.