My Papa [1898-1983]

by Peter Notehelfer
 Trudi Doyle

Trudi Doyle


He grew geraniums the old man did

Had a garden shed where he’d carefully

Winter over the roots year to year & then

Set them out in the spring when somehow

They would resurrect with an Easter faith

By the first of June dark with green leaf

The red blossoms seared a man’s heart

The art had been in his hands since

Apprenticing for the mad prince 


The old man could spend the day

Tying up beans mulching cucumbers

Composting soil & fencing out the deer

When not in the garden he was in his shop

Building planter boxes holiday ornaments

Which she approved of enthusiastically

Happy that he was out from underfoot

One wonders how they had survived

The war years with such equanimity


8 Comments to “My Papa [1898-1983]”

  1. Lovely, i once had a neighbour like that.

  2. Oh this is a fabulous poem. I love the plants ressurecting with Easter Faith.
    We seem to have lost so much of the patient and make do and mend way of life and I find this sad. So muxh need these days for u stant gratification.

    My dad used to keep geraniums all along the window sill of what we called the front room. They had such a pungent smell in that small space. Butt when I smell them now I have fond memories.

  3. My dear grandfather had a shed also..keeping the geraniums in the window..when spring came. He reported and began the cycle all over again..lovely memories!

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