Cuttings

Farmer Palmer

ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH ENGLAND

Tommy Toe cherry tomatoes,
carrots, radishes, leeks, red cabbage
along with cilantro, chives, and oregano
attract flocks of lovely white butterflies
to my first raised-bed garden.

Holes suddenly appear in my cabbage leaves
with tiny shiny green hairless caterpillars
feasting upon the crop in front of my eyes.

The seasoned gardener at the local nursery
replies, “Cabbage worms,” asks if I’d noticed
any white waxy wing moths, explaining further
they lay eggs that hatch in a day and eat
constantly until three inches long or when
food sources are gone, whichever comes first.

Noticing my shocked expression, he replies,
“The butterflies were quite pretty, weren’t they?”

—By Carl “Papa” Palmer of University Place, WA.


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