There was no point in saving that part of the garden, for it was long gone.
The flowers, dead and dry, no longer vibrant with color, laid stiffly parallel to the ground.
The soil, too, was devoid of nutrients.
It was dry and crumbly and not suitable for sustaining life.
I couldn’t will them back to life.
I could’ve watered them all I wanted,
I could’ve replanted the shriveled mess, as if turning them upright fixed the problem.
I could’ve fooled myself into thinking flower petals were actually supposed to be rough and brown.
But for what?
Wasn’t it better to accept that the life of the flowers drained long ago?
What is the point of trying to resuscitate a person who has already passed?
Wouldn’t it be better to let them rest in peace?
There’s a reason why only so many AED shocks are given to a patient;
It becomes futile after a while.
No amount of mouth to mouth can revive someone months—
My hands grew rough and calloused after so many years of gardening;
I was no longer new to it.
I no longer tried to get too close because as pretty as the flowers were,
I knew the thorns would stab me.
If I needed to, I would wear gloves to protect me from unnecessary pain.
I don’t remember when I started wearing the gloves 24/7.
Occasionally a weed or two would announce its presence
by stabbing me with its prickles and I would get angry,
maybe I wasn’t getting rid of them correctly.
Maybe I wasn't pulling them out by their roots and moving on.
Eventually that part of the garden became so overrun
with weeds stabbing me left and right,
the upkeep was no longer worth poking around the dying flowers.
I still visited that particular garden,
though time and time again I was urged to stop because the flowers were harmful,
and a handful.
I was stuck looking at the remains that I could not fix
and I was stuck watching someone trying to revive what was already gone.
At the same time, when the flowers weren’t completely gone yet,
I had other gardens to tend to.
I had an orchid sitting in the opposite side of the yard,
and I had a puya berteroniana plant that had finally flowered after so long.
It brought me so much joy, temporarily.
I didn’t even want to handle it with gloves despite the warning about their sharp edges.
After it was done with its one time bloom,
I grew sad;
they die after two weeks of blooming.
I tried to revive it countless times because it was different and exotic,
and I foolishly hoped it would come back.
The part of the garden that slowly died had more familiar flowers,
and so it was apparent I couldn’t save it;
The best I could do was pluck the remains from the ground
and preserve them between pages.
Gardening was no longer enjoyable and I couldn’t force myself to continue.
There were too many weeds, and too many plants that didn’t want to grow;
Or maybe, they too were weeds and I just mistook them for desirable plants.
I’m shutting myself in my house
and watching from the window as I let all my gardens die.
I only took the orchid with me because it still brings me joy.
It doesn't prick me maliciously nor does it jab at me with insensitive sarcasm;
however, I know it’s only a matter of time before it dies too.
I’ll busy myself with other things and pretend the plant whose name
I cannot pronounce didn’t cut me up too bad while I could care for it.
Maybe if I return to gardening I’ll find the appropriate pesticides.
Maybe I’ll pick more durable flowers for that garden.
--October 29, 2013