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Our Rose Garden

This garden will always have been a blessing to me, and now I let it grow and reverently sit in its shade.
to revel in something, but not ruin it, you must be reverent and respectful of the treasure it is to cherish.

Me and you,
we met in a field.
It was just a plot of dirt when we happened upon ‘t.

But, you and me,
we took our hands, and some precious seeds
and we turned this dirt into a garden
full of beautiful roses
and nourishing fruits.
And we saw the fruits of our labor in our love.

But then, this little garden, I suppose got too small
and you came out of it and shut its little painted-white wooden gate.
You gave me a last stare and went to meet another woman under a nearby tree.

I stood and stared after you for quite some time,
and then looked around me at our roses, beautiful, spreading, and in bloom.
I loved them and I thought,
“I cannot leave them! I cannot leave this garden!
I love it too much! It is the work of mine and my lover’s hands!
How beautiful that makes it!”

So I sat in this garden and I tended to it.
But, with only me to prune and plant, the garden grew weak.
I took snippets of all my favorite ones,
and this surely killed all the plants.

I was jealous of you and your new lover and so I tore our garden apart.
I picked it and uprooted it and overturned the soil.
and then, soon enough, there only was–
once again–
a small plot of land
and only dirt, at that.

My hands messy with the dirt of this injustice to our love,
I wept, and dirtied my face, too.
And when I felt your hand upon my shoulder–
in our garden once again–
I was startled that you’d met me there.
You met me to find it overturned and all our roses gone.

“I came here to pick some roses and to eat the nourishing fruit we planted and grew. Where is it all?”
You asked me, confused.

“I felt abandoned by you, by our love. I felt like it was gone and so I ravaged what was left.” I said.

“But now there’s nothing here! No roses, no trees; just these few sprouts of weeds!”

I buried my face in my hands again and apologized.

“And what is this?” You took one of my hands, “The guilt lies upon you.” You said, and away you flew out of our garden’s ghost
and away from me.

“No! My love, come back! I’ll fix it! We can replant!” I shouted after your disappearing figure.

But, gone you were, into the ether, and here I sit in the shadow of our love. Once beautiful and once flourishing.

I say to myself, “I should have gathered only a few roses and taken them to a new house, whatever that would be. And have let them bloomed well into my future and come back here, as my lover did, only to visit and take a few more. Our garden, how vast it would be!”

I looked out to the green rolling hills beyond it. “Maybe it would even stretch to the horizon! As far as our eyes could see!” I pictured it and imagined sprawling roses, great, and deeply hued. But then my eyes fell to the boundary of this plot, with ruffled dirt and dead vegetated roses and rotten fruit from this fallen tree.

“But what is this?” I said, “A bud? I mustn’t preserve it in my books as I did, the others. I must let this one grow. And then it will birth more sprouts.”

I’ve seen you peeking over our fence from far away, into the garden of our love. And, upon a time, this garden had reached point where a few buds had potential to bloom. I sit outside on a little bench these days, so as to not step on the delicate buds. But, here again, I failed to meet you in our garden when you came in once again.

Ever since then, I think you’ve not visited it much. But I spend much of my days leaning, arms akimbo, over the fence, my chin resting on my arms as I watch it grow. But it hasn’t much. Not for a year.

I’ve been tempted to pick this one beautiful rose that remains but, maybe this one will be more and so I leave it. I do not rush to preserve it. Besides, isn’t it said that a vegetated field grows to flourish much more? So these dead fruits maybe will dissolve and grow something new.
Maybe we can come back and not remember it as the upturned dirt field, but as a newly flourished garden, revived from at first. And then we will remember our love. And we’ll remember it not as my dirty hands or rotted roses. We’ll come back and ponder on it and cherish it for the wild garden of flourishing beauty that it always was, since at first… even if it will always have a few weeds.

(But I do hope that, every now and again, one of us visits and plucks those weeds to keep it nourishing for the other. And, maybe on another day, we’ll happen upon each other in the vines and branches and meet once again in our garden of love.)

For now, I suppose I’ll leave the dirt behind, for that is all I can do; the mess is made, damage done; and find a clean slate and new home and take with me the one little rose left from my last pruning, to plant in my new garden. And then I can carry this–what we were–into my future, and remember the nourishing love it was, and so that it may still nourish me. And this last rose, upon this blooming bush, that one is for you, for when you visit next, if you ever do.

By Loveless

Author of "Kanda Land", "The Universe Inside Her II: a book of unsorted poetic letters", and transcriber of "The 'Eternal I'" by Amalei Hemworth.

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