My daily route took me within its view,
a place of rich worship and devotion.
This small plot grew abundant sustenance.
Brick walls, two stories high, bordered this womb.
It was a garden like none I had ever encountered.
Under the neon signs and store windows it flourished.
Broken beer bottles and graffiti were neighbors.
The space stood unnoticed by the regular bar patrons.
One old gentlemen tended this productive oasis.
His lifespan had approached nearly a century.
He fathered many children,
and claimed scores of grandchildren.
He died on one winter’s day,
having never failed to tend his patch of vegetables.
The gift of many growing seasons,
had never left his fertile hands idle.
The days warmed and lengthened as they do in spring.
Frost unraveled its chilled hands from the soil.
But the garden was no more.
The gardener’s kin did not replant, or till the land.
His cherished plot was disregarded.
They were jealous of the time he spent on bended knee.
Time spent alone, with the sun on his back.
His beloved plants at his feet, granting satisfaction.
No longer would this place produce food or beauty.
The filth of the city had already made an effort to reclaim.
Passing the empty lot each day I felt a twinge of pain.
This shining space of green life had become another stain.