Whispers of Violets 5


Whispers of Violets


They said you couldn’t be done

That you were capricious, disdainful, coy

A slow starter and rarely-ender


For years we listened to them

For years I warily pondered you

From the corner of a mistrustful eye

A June flower

An August berry

An October Lady in her violet drape

Beckoning from the palm of my hand


And then one day

A tentative crush beneath the teeth

An astonishing burst of tart mystery

And a fragrance…  elusive, impossible to name

Out of reach in a dim bank of dusty neurons

A fragrance of other times

A bouquet of questions


Violet. Violette.

Who today remembers the perfume of a shy March violet

quivering at the base of an old tree in the east woods?


We said no

And no, and no again

Too risky

Too much trouble

Too ill-advised


Your siren song persisted

Insisted we trek to that patch of violets one rainy March morning

Trek the perfume

Your perfume


How had we forgotten

This old fashioned purple scent from our great-grandmother’s childhood?


And thus we yielded.


If the time is right

The site propitious

If the soil is juste

And the sun, the rain, the wind 

And all the fairies are on your side

Then you are in for a magic potion


No teething in babyhood

No blemishes in adolescence

Self starting fermentations

Whispers of violets

Juices improbably delicious from harvest to finish


Garnet graciousness

Splashing question-marks all over my glass


Cabernet Franc from our hilltop



ancien pied de vigne de notre Cabernet Franc





Asleep in the March violets under the old tree



Cabernet Franc to grace our Rosé, first glass of the season





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5 thoughts on “Whispers of Violets

  • Chris Hudson

    The usual Pulitzer-worthy poetry, Mary. Really, you should write professionally- oh, you do?? How ridiculous of me. Awaiting your next volume, not to mention your fam’s Cab Franc blend, with anticipation.

  • Pamela Pawley

    Dearest Mary,
    As always, your poetic description of this precious, delectable fruit sends a melodic song to my ears. Thank you for sharing the beauty of “The Whispers of Violet”! One day we shall share a glass of your labors.
    Until said time, sweet cousin, hugs & kisses,
    Pam ??

  • Laura Sandifer McGown

    Beautiful descriptions reading like poetry. Wishing I could be there. Congratulations on following your dream. How proud John and Lucie must be as well as all the ancestors!