Poems & Essays

16 Jul

Seed Packets

General/Column No Response

Two yellow bags of “natural organic seed starter” stand in our cart, next to seed starting trays, arrays of hope and potential, emptiness to be filled. My two youngest children are with me. They are so different. Each will have her own bag. Their small gloves and plastic spoons will measure out rich pungency. After we scoop, water, push and bury, we will place the plastic lids over the trays, creating our own greenhouse effect. We will put them in the sunny spots, by my children’s bedroom windows, nurturing potential. We will scan the soil’s surface through condensation on the lid to glimpse the tiny hairy green shoots uncurling.

My daughters choose their flowers:

Sunflower: A gorgeous, picture-perfect, vase-ready sunflower with deep golden-yellow flowers. The seeds of which are a rich source of vitamins E and B-1, as well as copper.

vase-ready social smiles

Sow in average soil in full sun after danger of frost has passed.

Fueled by moderation,
full sun required. What about the rainy days?
Avoid frost.

Sow seeds about 8 inches apart and cover with 1 inch of fine soil.

The finer things, opportunities in a flexible medium should yield good results.

Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.

Even-handed attentiveness nurtures

Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.

potential, hope.

Thin to stand 12-18 inches apart when seedlings are one inch high.

Stand apart, admired solar solace,

Blooms in summer.

synchronized solstice.

Moonflower: Vigorous vines with 6-inch fragrant flowers that open from evening until the following sunrise.

Fragrant lunar blossom,
reflecting reflected light,
seeking the tidal guide,
shies away from the sun.

Perennial in mild climates. Poisonous, fatal if ingested.

Continuous rewards, provided safety and essential boundaries are respected.

Note: To aid in germination soak seed overnight.

Intensity through the dark night,
drowning in potential,
soaking it in.

Sow in average soil in full sun in spring after danger of frost.

Full sun and flexibility required.
Shies away from the sun, while needing it.
Many rainy days.
Avoid frost.

In frost-free areas, sow in fall to early spring.

Germinate in the depths of winter,
plumb the darkness,
in safe haven.

Sow seeds thinly and cover with 1/2 inch of fine soil.

Closer to the air.

Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.

Potential, life

Blooms in late summer to fall.

asynchronous zenith

“Oh can I plant flowers with you?” a kind woman with golden-hued sunlit streaks asked us as she heard us in the store.

“No,” my moonflower daughter said, confused as to why a stranger would ask such a thing. My sunflower daughter just watched, holding tight to her princess dolls.

“Mm-mm, I can respect someone who tells you how it is,” the woman laughed. “Oh some children wouldn’t. They would just lie and say yes, ma’am.” She shook her head as she left. “But I can respect that.”

I wanted to chase after her then, invite her for real.



Janette Kennedy, a former teacher and current MFA candidate at Lindenwood University, seeks out new endeavors with a restless zest for failure. She currently lives a beautifully chaotic life in Tennessee with her family.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

0 Comment

Would you like to join the discussion? Feel free to contribute!

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Be Gentle July 14, 2017 Spilling Forth July 17, 2017