Garden Lesson # 1

When you were very small
you wanted to help in the garden
barefoot, you followed me
and listened while I talked of perennials and annuals
of deadheading spent flowers
you squatted on thin legs
your painted pink toes looking like small rose buds
the hem of your dress wet with dewy grass
your tiny fingers pinched off the new bud
of a deep red and tightly folded petunia
mistaking it for dead
your face aghast, I smiled softly
and told you not to worry
that sometimes new blooms
look like old ones
and death is just another way
to begin.



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