Iowa Writes

In Miina's Garden

In Miina's garden grew the offspring of her mother's garden in Virrat, Finland. Before Miina set sail for America, her mother carefully sewed seeds and roots into the hem of her skirt. Miina hoped that no one would notice the little bundles, the earthy smell—more out of embarrassment than the guilt of smuggling.

As she grew old, each flower and vegetable became prayers to a world she'd never see again.

Once she saw the face of her baby brother in a pansy, her father's nose in a zucchini. What flower would she be, she wondered . . . Would anyone recognize her?

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Julia Klatt Singer writes fiction and poetry, is co-author of Twelve Branches: Stories from St. Paul, and she works as a visiting writer in the schools through COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts). She lives in Minneapolis. 

This piece originally appeared in Volume 5, Number 6 of 100 Words, a journal published by the University of Iowa's International Writing Program between 1993 and 1998. Each piece in the journal had to be 100 words or fewer, and each issue had a theme. This issue's theme was "On Garden."

This page was first displayed
on June 21, 2008

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