A Rather Large Keepsake


The little girl is made of iron.

Stiff-backed and still she stands

holding up a garden hose to

water whatever she can—

black-eyed Susans in the fall,

coreopsis in the summer,

larkspur and salvia in springtime,

seed pods and freeze-dried leaves in winter.

Unmoving, resolved, in wind and rain,

in snow and hail and sunshine,

she keeps her vigil.

My father had her made for my mother.

They raised four daughters, and

while none of us ever stood this still,

not even playing hide and seek,

maybe this girl was a reminder

of wiggly giggly girls grown

and going their own way.

Now that both my father and mother are gone,

this little iron girl belongs to me,

a rather large keepsake,

a reminder of girls growing up

and now growing old.

But even more,

she reminds me that

we have weathered the world’s wildness before,

and can again,

in every season,

persistently watering,

insistently cultivating


not without pain,

not without questions,

but also not without wonder,

not without heart.

She reminds me that

a stilled spirit,

a calm soul

is itself a keepsake

as we water

with kindness and hope

whatever we can.




Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.


Nature of the week – the little iron girl in last week’s snow:

Shadow of the week – from yesterday’s drawing class:

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Waking to Snow

‎Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.