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My mother is most beautiful 
after losing herself in her garden,
on her knees, hands in the dark earth,
tending gently to things growing
half an acre from our house.
Just beyond dusk, she’d walk the grass
toward us, barefoot, a basket of growth 
gathered in her arms, rinsed in the cool water 
from the back wall hose.

One evening she called me out to her,
bit into a tomato so red its
flesh held the undertone of purple,
and then offered it to me.
I was twelve, shy with the heated 
pulp filling my mouth, still warm 
from the day’s stretch of August sun.
Dark coming on, my mother gleaming,
fireflies in the air above our fields.

© 2011 Dora E. McQuaid

All peace to each one of you. Dora

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