The Garden

Day 27 of 28 Days of Unreason

“It is life’s work to recognize the mystery of the obvious” – Jim Harrison

On her deathbed
she asked me if I had a garden,
which would’ve been funny
if the moment, permeated
with the smell of death,
hadn’t been so heart wrenching.
She knew I didn’t possess a green thumb,
that I’d killed more than one cactus,
and how I admired the many plants
and flowers that thrived under her care.
I wondered if it was the drugs
or if she’d simply had a nice dream.
Either way, something seemed to shift to a place
of peacefulness.
After the funeral, I planted forget-me-nots.
When the first tiny buds opened,
nothing could’ve been more obvious.


27 comments on “The Garden

  1. jillys2016 says:

    One quick read is all I am able to do here – too close to home. Obviously an effective poem. (gasping)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charley says:

    This is one of those poems that digs deeper than some are willing to go. I’m able to read it, having spent time in the midst of the partings of loved ones. If this engaged me in any way with my own mom’s passing, I would be lost. The irony in this poem is well-played — and I will guess true to life. The woman with the green thumb passes on the gift to the daughter who kills cactus. It’s effective. The writing of this is nearly prose. In truth, this could easily be written as a story.

    You have the reality of the event down. Let me challenge you to write a second time… bringing the spirit of the event to the fore. Utilize the gardening tools of poetry and make this bloom even more.

    I hope you don’t take offense at what I’ve written; I mean it most kindly.


  3. jade says:

    This is outstanding. Do not change a word.

    Your last sentence perfectly encapsulates the meaning of the quote.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This clearly illustrates the ‘mystery of the obvious’, for what is both more mysterious and obvious than our mortality, a mystery that a lifetime can not unravel. Hence it is only death itself that ends the mystery. The deceased lady, after her own lifetime, tries to convey her own understanding through the forget-me-not. The choice of plant is obvious yet the fact it had to be grown from seed is crucial, as it grows so does understanding of this particular ‘mystery of the obvious’.
    A very well thought out and clever piece Lynn………….what seems obvious on first read is in fact a veneer that covers a write of depth and mystery. Excellent !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. qbit says:

    This was heart stopping. The final line is perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I feel the same emotion as Jilly. You put your finger on something there, the flowers, but more than anything, it’s the reference to the drugs. Was it really only medication, or was there a slipping to another plane that happened? I’d like to think so.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Most of my poems are overloaded with psychedelic/surreal images and metaphors and hints of things that have happened in my life that no one would get unless they know me…or ARE me. That is why I appreciate poems like this. It just reflects a moment that anyone could understand, maybe some more than others. For example, my girlfriend’s mom died of cancer. She was with her right up until the very end. I would not dare to let her read this poem…unless I wanted to comfort her crying for the next 8 hours. 😦 Very effective and moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • colorfulpen says:

      Thanks for reading and for your comment. I’m sorry for your girlfriend’s loss. It wasn’t my own mother, but my mother-in-law and we were very close. I guess maybe there’s been enough time and space that allowed me to write it, but it certainly stirred emotions again for me, too. I get that maybe it’s too real or raw for some people. For the most part, I tend to stay away from writing those kinds of things, but when I thought about the quote that inspired it, it just took hold and wouldn’t let go. Sometimes we just go where the muse takes us. Thanks again for the read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, and when a story or poem is basically writing itself, I don’t resist it. A lot of people think I was crazy to write a story like THE SIZE CURSE (a novel that will be serialized on Writer to Writers soon), but I was knocking out 12-15 pages per day without even blinking an eye. I went with it because it’s what was in my head/heart to write. Whether there was an audience for it or not was irrelevant. (Besides, with all the weird stories out there that people enjoy, I knew it had the potential to at least garner a cult following. Only time will tell!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • colorfulpen says:

        12-15 pages a day, wow. Impressive. Sometimes I’m lucky if I can get 15 words to flow properly. I’ll be on the look out for that novel of yours!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Be forewarned: it is not like anything you have read before. I mean, the closest I can think of is crossing Franz Kafka’s METAMORPHOSES with the nightmarish images of your average William S. Burroughs novel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • colorfulpen says:

        I look forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

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