What My Mother Might Have Done

Carla Schwartz

The rhody babies sprout where they want,

where I never walk,

but where a meter reader might step

on them, alongside the house.


They are shin-high, but sturdy,

the deep green of seaweed,

proud, small replicas of their mother,

a single, bud poised to bloom.


My mother would have moved the offspring,

carved a careful hole around each new plant

and dug. The rhododendron branches

must have layered themselves.


You must wait until sufficient roots have grown

to untether them. Would my mother have known this?

Would she have severed the ties

before the saplings were strong enough?


Carla Schwartz is a poet, filmmaker, photographer, and blogger. Her poems have appeared in Aurorean, ArLiJo, Eyedrum Periodically, Fourth River, Fulcrum, Bluefifth, Common Ground, Cactus Heart, Leveler, Long Island Review, Mom Egg, Submittable, Switched-on Gutenberg, Gyroscope, Mojave River, Naugatuck River, Paddock, Solstice, SHARKPACK, Triggerfish, Sweet Tree, Varnish, Weatherbeaten, and Ibbetson Street, among others. Her poem Gum Surgery was anthologized in City of Notions, A Boston Poetry Anthology. Her second collection of poetry, Intimacy with the Wind, is available from Finishing Line Press or Amazon.com. Find her debut collection, Mother, One More Thing (Turning Point, 2014) on Amazon.com. Her CB99videos youtube channel has 1,700,000+ views. Learn more at carlapoet.com, or wakewiththesun.blogspot.com or find her @cb99videos.