Garden Redemption

ILLUSTRATION BY LINDA COOK DEVONA

When the gardener appeared to have murdered an adolescent
tomato plant
during what should have been a routine transplant from
starter pot
to the Big Show
his accumulated failures
contained in the wilting cola of an innocent striver reliant
on his care
reminded the novice life curator of all the other innocents
he’d failed to protect properly
in a lifetime of impatience

An infusion of distilled water
An improvised bamboo splint
An emergency amputation of two shriveling shade leaves
Healing sun

Two hours later the condemned had been resurrected
standing more or less straight in her new home

Both of them now rescued and redeemed
the gardener thanked the plant
the garden
the living world
and every creature he knew he’d harmed
and the ones he never knew
for allowing him yet another chance
to do better next time


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