Mortal Lessons by Jane Edna Mohler

Mortal Lessons

Back in the garden, I coo
for everyone in my best mother

voice. I’m sorry you all must grow
here. The best light is tight

up to the road where exhaust
and honking would stunt

lesser beings.
You are brave

while rodents gnaw
your reedy wood, run

roughshod over your home.
Scent of blood,

the tin musk of tomato limbs.
Here salvation smells

like a delivery room
in a war zone.

Caterpillars creep
up your legs

even as parasites drain
their green jelly.

Garden, you fight
despite my neglect

and the laws that force
one life to steal for another.


Jane Edna Mohler is a Bucks County Poet Laureate Emeritus (Pennsylvania) and a two-time Pushcart nominee. Kelsay Books published her collection Broken Umbrellas (2019.) Recent publications include Gargoyle, American Journal of Poetry, and Quartet. Jane is Co-Editor of Poetry for the Schuylkill Valley Journal. She has been on faculty of the Bay to Ocean and Caesura conferences for multiple years.

One thought on “Mortal Lessons by Jane Edna Mohler

Leave a Reply