It was the job of Sharon’s dreams. The interviewer rattled off a string of easy questions: “Professional goals?” “College grades?”
Then… “Any personal hobbies?”
Sharon squirmed. Should she tell him about the three bodies buried in her backyard?
A long pause. “Um, I garden,” Sharon responded. “White lilies, white mums.”
Roberta Beach Jacobson won first place in the Iowa Poetry Association’s 2020 competition for her haiku.
I plant strawberries in a pot on the windowsill.
“Easy to grow!” the packet promises. My mouth waters as I imagine juicy, home-grown fruit.
Soon, they sprout.
Days later, they’re limp and dead. I forgot to water them. Again.
Maybe this time, I tell myself as I purchase tomato seeds.
Elena is 14 years old. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found doing homework or procrastinating.
He had always dreamed of having a vegetable garden. A place where tomatoes, beans and corn could be kissed by the sun and caressed by the rains.
Meticulously, he weeded and watered, hoed and harvested, until the loudspeaker murdered his tellurian bliss: Inmate B18763… report to the Exercise Yard, immediately!
If killing plants was a crime, Melanie would have been incarcerated for the term of her natural life.
“Awful man,” she muttered, kicking the encroaching brambles. “Beautiful woman,” he mused, as sunlight haloed her fair hair.
Every evening he’d toil, moving snails from her delicate beans and dahlias to his indestructible thicket.
She never wondered why her allotment flourished. Or who left the gifts of glorious blackberry jam.
Tamsin doesn’t have an allotment, and she has to be her own snail shepherd. Despite best efforts, her runner beans are still being severely chewed.
When I got home, my ungrateful wife wasn’t complaining. I thought hell must have frozen over as I popped a top.
Agitated, she said, “I shot him dead in the backyard.” That mole had her number for over a month.
Glancing out the window, I noticed the gardener face down.
T. R. Jordan is a civil engineer living in Dallas, TX. He focuses on vulnerability.
Blackberry thorns dig into the hem of my slacks as I work. I step-measure the grave spaces again. Garden of Hope, Row D, Lot 21, Spaces 5 and 6. By my estimation, the companion marker should be buried two feet further in.
Who will uncover the stones when I’m gone?
Randal Houle worked in the cemetery industry for eight years.
She threw me out; she didn’t like my tastes.
Flung on the rubbish heap, I was enveloped in a dark depression. I felt dead. Earth to earth.
Turning things over, I spread myself around. I met someone new, with potential. We sowed the seed.
We’re expecting a tomato this spring.
Margaret has a garden in Buckinghamshire, UK. She is currently writing
her first full length novel, while being distracted by short stories, flash fiction and her blog about all things writing.
Janie wanted hugs. She demanded them. She pestered me for them.
I hugged her but my arms began to hug her tighter. Tighter. And finally, too tight.
Mary doesn’t need hugs. She just wants a beautiful yard. She buys me shears and spades. Sharp and heavy tools.
She pesters me.
Joe Malone is living alone in Africa in a mud house. His blog is here: http://joem18b.wordpress.com/.