Determined to keep a promise I made-
only to me, to no one else,
I drag the 40 pound sacks of soil,
the tomato plants and packs of seeds.
I pull the long green watering hose
up the steep hill from my son’s house.
The sweat is pouring from my face,
from my body, from my soul.
I sit on the steps of the old rock building,
realizing that this year, my garden
will be different from the ones
I had tilled with joy -in another life.
The water will come from the emptying
of my weak and injured soul.
The seeds will fall like tears
one by one, to dampen the hard,dry soil.
Each of them is a piece of the pain
Sewn Into waving rows, howed by
a bent back,throbbing with grief and loss.
A life I had treasured-stolen forever.
I feel an overwhelming guilt as I chop down weeds.
I wonder if that is all that my sons’ life
as well as my life meant to God-
something worthless and in the way?
I wondered if I could cry and laugh
at the same time-again.
I found that I could, if the present
became shadows of the past.
My young son squirts me with
the green snake garden hose,
like his brother used to do-
“Accidentally”, he would swear,
They swore in unison, it seemed.
Will my tears be enough fertilizer
to make the garden grow?
Does time go on,
whether we want it to or not?