The African Violet


I bought the African violet
because it reminded me of my
There was always something
on the kitchen windowsill.
A violet.
Beans sprouting on a saucer.
An avocado pit in water.
She was always
Helping things grow.
When I bought this
it was purple.
I’m sure of it.
Its single bloom
a deep hue
against the furry green leaves.
I smile every
time I look at it.
I remember her
sunny kitchen.
Afternoons baking.
Or weeding in the
I’ve always loved weeding.
Grabbing the encroaching
by its neck and
yanking it out.
The key is to use a
single tug.
Make sure the
root comes out too.
Monotonous, satisfying work.
The purple petals wilted.
Fell off the plant.
The leaves stayed
green and healthy.
I watered when
I remembered.
This bloom is
white, tinged with purple.
Still an African violet.
I smile when I look
at it.
I keep it close.
It reminds me of
my Grandmother.

This post was inspired by the prompt “Seeds” and written today in an online writing group with the magnificent Jena Schwartz. Jena encouraged me to play with line breaks: “No matter what words come, follow them to wherever they wish to be planted.” 

21 thoughts on “The African Violet

  1. Makes me remember the Rita that was ! She tended her Violets with such care and passion whereas I killed then mercilessly by wetting leaves and failing to tend them enough ( I now do that to orchids ). You brought back the 3 homes Peter’s folks lived in and the always glorious display of purple violets in a gorgeous copper container on the coffee table. Evocative indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love. My grandmother kept an African violet on her windowsill too, an often an avocado pit. I had forgotten about that until now. Beautiful verse, Nix. And thank you for helping me remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It must be in the handbook that all grandmothers must grow something in the kitchen windowsill or be drummed out of the “grands” club. My grandmother too had violets and herbs growing in her windowsill. AND for the last ten years or so, that I’ve been a grandmother, my windowsill serves as part medicine cabinet and part garden.

    Enjoy your posts!

    Annie @

    Liked by 1 person

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