Quality Gardening
for Alice

You were like chick-weed after a March
storm reaching deep, spreading out
never giving in to the driest drought.

You were like sunflowers turning your
face and eyes fearlessly to the circling sun
whose rays cultivated our friendship.

You were like Jack-in-the-Pulpit always
ready and eager to defend the earth,
bright and laughing in its defense

You were like hen and chick, each day
adding another word, another thought,
another poem to my growing garden.

--Leila Rae (2002)