By Lindsay Hayes

We gardened in the heat of the afternoon,
pulling up weeds,
while the sun scored our backs.
Birds chirped tender songs and
the fragrance of mulch permeated the air.
Beads of sweat clustered on my forehead,
and calluses formed on my fingers from shoveling.
There was something holy about digging in the dirt,
knowing we would all once return to it.

You didn’t say much,
but I knew what was on your mind.
The dark spots on your wrinkled skin,
were illuminated by the afternoon glow.
We both knew the summer was coming to an end,
and the winter wouldn’t be kind to us.
I savored each moment in the garden with you.

As the peonies’ buds flourished,
you slipped away.
The summer aged you,
and your body grew weary of wrestling with old roots.
The things you planted
would surely outlast,
but what flourished
is my memory of you.

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