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Community Garden

Written by: Laure-Anne Bosselaar | Biography
  I watch the man bend over his patch,   
a fat gunny sack at his feet. He combs the earth 

 with his fingers, picks up pebbles around 
tiny heads of sorrel. Clouds bruise in, clog the sky, 

 the first fat drops pock-mark the dust. 
The man wipes his hands on his chest, 

 opens the sack, pulls out top halves 
of broken bottles, and plants them, firmly, 

 over each head of sorrel — tilting the necks
toward the rain. His back is drenched, so am I,

 his careful gestures clench my throat, 
wrench a hunger out of me I don't understand, 

 can't turn away from. The last plant
sheltered, the man straightens his back, 

 swings the sack over his shouler, looks 
at the sky, then at me and — as if to end 

 a conversation — says: I know they'd survive
 without the bottles, I know. He leaves the garden, 

 plods downhill, blurs away. I hear myself 
say it to no one: I never had a father.



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