Robert Frost

A Girl's Garden

A neighbor of mine in the village 
    Likes to tell how one spring
When she was a girl on the farm, she did 
    A childlike thing.

One day she asked her father
    To give her a garden plot
To plant and tend and reap herself, 
    And he said, "Why not?"

In casting about for a corner 
    He thought of an idle bit
Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood, 
    And he said, "Just it."

And he said, "That ought to make you 
    An ideal one-girl farm,
And give you a chance to put some strength 
    On your slim-jim arm."

It was not enough of a garden 
    Her father said, to plow;
So she had to work it all by hand, 
    But she don't mind now.

She wheeled the dung in a wheelbarrow 
    Along a stretch of road;
But she always ran away and left 
    Her not-nice load,

And hid from anyone passing. 
    And then she begged the seed.
She says she thinks she planted one 
    Of all things but weed.

A hill each of potatoes, 
    Radishes, lettuce, peas,
Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn, 
    And even fruit trees.

And yes, she has long mistrusted
    That a cider-apple tree
In bearing there today is hers,
    Or at least may be.

Her crop was a miscellany 
    When all was said and done,
A little bit of everything, 
    A great deal of none.

Now when she sees in the village 
    How village things go,
Just when it seems to come in right, 
    She says, "I know!

"It's as when I was a farmer..." 
    Oh never by way of advice!
And she never sins by telling the tale 
    To the same person twice.

spoken = Shelley Lynn Johnson