What My Granny Taught Me
by Brenda Sutton
© May, 2003

I wrote this a month before the birth of my first grandchild, Elliott.  His birth got me thinking about things my own grandmother taught me while weeding her garden, lessons I hope to be able to pass on.

Weeding my garden in May,
Scattering burrs that Iíll harvest in June.
My perspiration in play,
Seeking distraction in silly old tunes.
My Granny taught me when I was a child,
"If you didnít plant it, consider it wild."
Harsh education from someone so mild.
"Just pull them out, smile, and then
Throw them away."

Tending my garden in June,
Pruning the pestilence, trimming the blight.
Harvesting herbs by the moon,
Helping new growth with maternal delight.
My Granny taught me when I was just ten,
"Weíll weed the garden on Monday and then
Come back on Tuesday, weíll weed it again.
We can pull them out, smile and then
Throw them away!"

In our garden, we tend and till,
Crafting nature upon our will.
In our garden, we kneel and ask
For the strength and the light
To finish the task, finish the task.

Weeding well into July,
I spare no weed from my murderous intentions.
Tail up and head down, I fly
Tossing slugs and dirt in every direction.
My Granny taught me when I was a teen,
"When thinning out carrots, one neednít feel mean.
Those that survive will grow big, fat and clean
If you pull them out, smile and then
Throw them away."

Iím weeding, and itís still July,
Tearing out tendrils with passion and vengeance.
Cursing up into the sky, "Why?
Is gardening some kind of karmical penance?"
When I was twenty my old Granny said,
"Beetles are pretty, but better off dead.
They can be compost and you can be fed
If you pull them out, smile and then
Throw them away.

Now, in my garden I tend and till,
Crafting nature upon my will.
In my garden I kneel and ask
For the strength and the light,
The health and the fight,
An ending in sight,
To finish the task, finish the task.

August, the harvest is here.
Chopping and stooping and hauling and bending.
Watching the winter grow near.
Clean it and pack it and can without ending.
My Granny taught me her whole lifetime long,
"Pick your work, do your best, sing your own song,
Plant a good garden. When weeds come, like wrong,
(Simply) pull them out smile and then
Throw them away.

(Simply) pull them out, smile,
Pull them out, smile,
Pull them out, smile, and then
Throw them away."