Mary Anderson Parks @ 2014


“Let’s have a dialogue. A nice one where we say gentle loving things.”

“You’re very sweet,” he says. “Sweet and dear and fragile.”

“Oh not so fragile! You’ll find I’m quite ready and supple and will bend every which way you want. We will be strong together.”

“How marvelous.” His white teeth glisten when he smiles. “I’ve been waiting for such a union, a coming together.”

And we do come together, without effort, and I feel the strength of his muscles become my own, the safety he offers now inside me, part of my being.

But at the height of that moment when the strength becomes mine and love flows into me, I awaken, still in the chair by the window. I lean forward and there he is, digging in the dirt. My movement catches his eye and he sticks the shovel in the ground, leans on it and smiles.

“You should come out,” he says, his voice low and thrilling. Only I can hear it. No one else will ever be able to hear it.


“Because the garden is lonely without you. See? The tulips have begun to droop.”

“Is it because I am in this house and I should be elsewhere?”

“Well, not just anywhere, I shouldn’t think.” He winks and I feel an answering twitch deep in my stomach. I rest my hands on the sill.

He comes closer and looks at my hands. “They haven’t worked much.”

“No, I’ve been in here so long.”

“Time to come out! We can work together!”

“Would you teach me how to make things grow?”

The gardener smiles very gently. “It isn’t I who makes them grow. Or you here at the window. We nurture them. I turn up the soil and you watch and pour love from your eyes onto my garden. I called it mine!” He laughs, then shrugs. “I can call it that. Doesn’t make it so.”

“Will I get my hands dirty?”

“I hope so!”

“Maybe the garden just looks good from up here in the window.”

“No, it looks best when your nose is close to the dirt and you turn the dirt over and uncover new layers.”

“Yes, yes, I can see that. I’ve seen you do that and you are happy and connected to your hands and your thoughts.”

“You’ve seen my thoughts?”

I feel urgency now to join him, because the voices in the background are getting nearer. Could I be dreaming still? He has never come up to the window before. The voices tell me to go to him, he is offering himself.

“You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” I call to him.

“What?” He laughs, his muscles relaxed and his eyes warm, and I am drawn inevitably to him.

I fly through the window just in time.

“There she goes!” I hear the shout from the room behind me.

We join hands and run together toward the woods and I know in my heart that when we reach the woods it will be gone, he will be gone, but it will not mean I am alone because I too can become brown and strong and work and laugh and understand.

“Just once put your mouth on mine,” I whisper. He hears my whisper and catches me in his arms and takes all the time in the world to cover my mouth with his warm full lips, the soft pressure of them. I will have something beautiful to remember, the thrill of that moment to relive and cherish if everything else is taken.

I guess I was dreaming. But dreams too are real.


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