Green Thumb


“I’m a gardener. I spend long periods outside pulling weeds, planting sprouts, growing vegetables in my front yard. I like to imagine my thumb is green although I’ve experienced my share of failures. My hand in my garden, tendering to vegetable starts.” – Tricia Knoll

Green Thumb

We share the opposable thumb with the great apes
and in none of us is it cast in green.

The green I claim is a dream,
false starts of nightmares, invasives

like ivy and morning glory that want to claim
dominion. And the plants that die,

for a time it was always lavender and no one
else has trouble getting lavender to bloom.

So the accolades for my garden, the secret
whispers she has a green thumb

are true in the sense that my thumb knows
green, loves green, never fears

plunging deep into mud and putting
in and pulling out the creatures that green up

on sun, water, and the silent talk
of roots with soil. When neighbors whisper,

I whisper back to the corn rising,
my thumb hitches a ride on your magic.

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Editor’s Note: Almost immediately after this posted, I received a comment about the nail polish. A reader loved it, and so do I, so I asked Tricia for the name and brand. “Verdis” by Revlon.

Tricia Knoll (2)

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet with two books in print – Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press 2016) and Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press 2014). She is noticing that blueberries and raspberries are ripening in Oregon several weeks earlier than usual. Website:

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Filed under Garden Writers We Love, Green Poetry

4 responses to “Green Thumb

  1. A fellow gardener, the green nail polished thumb made my day. Weeds, Weeds, go away, but they don’t do they? loved the poem, also.

  2. Oh, thank you! I loved it, too (and now I’m trying to find out that nail color!). πŸ™‚

  3. Another thought provoking piece by Tricia…brilliant…two green thumbs up!!

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