The house was stark. Clean, but threadbare.
No books, few pictures, minimal furniture.
The conversation was the same. 
You would not have found it creative or inpiring,

until you walked through the pantry 
orderly row upon row of canning jars
tomatoes, peaches, pickles of all kinds
green beans, squash, chow chow
saurkraut, apple butter

lovingingly stored and displayed
here lie her true wealth and color.

Passing this to the back door
the tiny lot crammed with plants
vines climbing the fence
tomatoes carefully staked
every spare scrap of dirt planted
flowers peeking between the collards.
Here she beamed with pride, proud of the profusion

Leading me back inside, I saw a doll placed high up
I asked if I might see it
I could look but not touch – this was the only doll she ever had
Her father gave it to her when she was 42.