HomeSouthern VoiceMy Uncle's Garden

My Uncle's Garden

by John Valentine

Crippled, young, by polio he
dragged himself like an anvil

through early snap beans, peas,
corn straight and tall as health.

Strawberries coaxed with a trembling
hand. Staggered gait in the green

and steady rows. How he loved aphids,
even weeds. Unbalanced, he sometimes

fell for the tricks of his legs. But risen,
there was only laughter. Joy. How anything,

he said, could come from the fallen
is the greatest mystery of all.

Schooled at Mercer University and Vanderbilt University, John Valentine lives in Savannah, Georgia, where he teaches at a local art college. This poem was inspired by spring’s insistence to be seen all over town.¬†

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