Winter Garden

In the garden she sprinkles nuts on the bird table, breaks the ice on the pond and throws in fish food. If the wind is blowing she'll light a bonfire and stare into the flames until there's nothing left but charred ends. He was always the feeder, she – the burner. She takes a spade from the rack of tools and looks over the overgrown vegetable patch. Since he went nothing had grown but weeds. She slices into the heavy winter soil and turns a sod, then another, then another. Soon the plot is weed-free, loamy and ripe for seed. She digs deep, straight furrows, marked with twine tied around sticks. She plants his expensive secateurs, his fleece-lined gardening gloves and calibrated dibber. She tears open his packets of seed and sows them onto the bonfire's embers. Some of them pop and crackle, others just hiss.



Steven John