In Communion With My Flower Beds

The three-tine rake, the spade, they are old as me.

Simple tools for simple pleasures.

I stare at the flower bed; all good gardeners do.

The flower bed will speak; all good gardens do.

This is not a good garden, but I stand ready to fight.

The air so still, I hear a basketball bouncing on a court two blocks away.

No traffic, no neighbors; just me and the distant ball and the garden.

My mind wanders from here to there, lulled by the serenity of Sunday’s afternoon.

I’m a daydream believer, you know.

Content to sit and watch the silent world, perhaps this garden deserves no time of mine.

There are other gardens.

Reluctantly, reluctantly, I shake off the afternoon calm.

The sun is sparse, the soil acrid. Dreams of beauty and color die here.

I rake and dig, scratching at the dirt and dust, unearthing corpses from other summers.

So much death resides here,

Except the tired irises.


Fifteen new chances for life go in this nature’s graveyard.

I rake a trough, tear open doubtful packages of seeds,

Seeds sift through my fingers into the desolation below.

Water, the Almighty Landscaper.

Sweet-smelling, life-giving water mists my toes,

For awhile, I forget the garden of no return.

It looks so…hopeful.

I am hopeful.

The whine of a hedge trimmer pierces the afternoon.

An omen loud as death itself.

Maybe next year, my pretty flowers, maybe next year.


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