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Wandering into Spring

By Tom Pursell, March 21, 2024

Blooming native bluebells (Mertensia boraginaceae) return to the Root River valley every spring. (Photo by Nancy North)

Wandering into Spring


A Late March Lament (Let’s Try This Again)

Come up! I know you’re down there.

It’s the last week in March, three straight days of spring-time sun,

So, hiding in the soil just won’t do,

After all those bulbs I planted in October –

It’s just not fair!


I’m sorry I dug the holes too close,

And can’t remember which are where – 

Tulips, iris, bluebells, and daffs – 

But surely something should be up by now,

To stop me feeling so morose.


But wait! What’s that next to the shed,

Where the light reflects, and warms the earth?

Is that a crocus? A yellow crocus? I must have done something right,

With trowel and bone meal and, judging the light,

And choosing this place for a new-dug bed.

Thank you, God – whoever or whatever you are – for another chance,

To make it right with earth and plants.


A Walk in the Garden With Peggy

Come walk with me in the garden,

and hold my hand.

We’ll see if the rosebush is blooming – 

that one we planted last Fall.

And we’ll pull a carrot.

You’ll want to wash it,

but I’ll just laugh and brush the dirt off

and eat it.

Later we’ll sit on the porch

and talk about what’s for dinner.

Then sleep.

I’ll see your eyes flutter before you

awaken next morning; and

when you see me watching you

you’ll say:

“Did we walk in the

garden yesterday?

          © 2023 & 2019 Thomas F. Pursell




Tom Pursell was born and raised in Illinois. He went directly into the Army after high school, then worked in a succession of hot, dirty jobs until he conceded that higher education was a good idea. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School he practiced law in the Twin Cities for 40 years before deciding that garden and orchard couldn’t do without him. Tom and his wife, Peggy, now contemplate the world from the brow of a bluff outside of Lanesboro.


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