in the soil

All the things in the house came from a single store, a nice store, a store full of white: square plates, square cups, square flatware. Plain, elegant. Like the woman. She bought all the things in the house and put them on shelves. She bought shelves and put them on the floor. The floor boards were replaced with something cold and pretty and her things sat on top of it.

Outside, a man who was her husband watered and talked to his flowers: hydrangea, tulip, rose, peony, daffodil, orchid. Such flowers did not grow in a single climate easily, so he created micro-climates around the back yard, building shelters here and raised beds elsewhere to protect the beginnings of things forming in the black soil.

What were the beginnings of things? The man reattached a drip wire that had come undone, placed saline rocks around black earth that someday soon would be a zucchini. (Seeds. A girl who wanted a house with nice things and a man in it. A boy who had dreamt of something vague and big but requiring bravery, want, hunger.)

O, hunger! Feasting from square bowls wasn’t so bad–it was lovely, in fact, better in all ways than an empty tummy. And so he did that: ate at the table. Planted most carefully the seeds of pretty things. Like a mother, helped them grow out of the soil, and wept when they did not.

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