A Vegetable Matter

Written by: Lindsay Laurie

Grandpa’s a gem in the garden,
Tending his sprouts and his peas,
Tomatoes and onions and cabbage,
His ‘caulies’ and his broccoli’s.

I have seen plenty of gardens,
Chocked full of bountiful greens,
But none the standard of grandpa’s,
With his chili’s ‘n chocko’s n’ beans.

So I believed grandpa was blessed,
With an artistic green thumb,   
By his artichokes, pumpkin and corn,  
And his wonderful red capsicum.

At first I mentioned to grandpa
“His garden’s as good as can be”.
Then asked him “How does it grow?”
This is how he answered me.

“I ‘foller’ chooks, horses n’ cows,
With a big shovel an’ ‘barra’,
Puttin’ load after load of manure,
On silver beet, spinach and ‘marra”.

Manure! I said “Loads of manure,
That really makes plenty of sense”,
Then the old ‘biddy’ from next door,
Stuck her head over the fence. 

“I have been listening you know,
Your language belongs in the sewer,
The word that you should be using,
Is fertilizer, and not manure!”

I put me hands over me ears,
Expecting grandpa to ‘explete’,
With a barrage of verbal manure,
On zucchini’s and over red beet.
But before grandpa could answer,
Grandma called out with a plea.
“What in the world are you saying?
Madge you just listen to me”.
“I have cajoled and pleaded and prayed.
I’m telling you there’s nothing truer,
It’s taken me ‘round forty years,
Just to get him to call it manure”.