Cutting Rhubarb in the Rain

by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Cutting rhubarb in the rain,

the mottled leaves thick with mud

and slugs, I wonder if these plants,

robust now, will stand another

season in this shaded corner.


If not, next spring my husband

will surprise me bearing rhizomes,

and plant them so my garden

will be as my mother's, and

her mother's and, perhaps, all

our mothers' before.


I'll slice the stalks into chunks

for pie, mine has strawberries,

though she says berries ruin

the rhubarb; she makes sauce

and eats from the pot, still warm,

spoon clanking against the sides,

a smile trespassing her face.


Tendering these stalks, making the pie,

heralds me a holder of apron

strings, honoring our history

unmarked with words or trophies, 

thus all the more important.


I wonder how my daughter

will grow her rhubarb.