Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Jose Padua: How the Gardener of Sorrows Tends to the Sadness of Things

I tend this landscape of terrible sadness
because it is my duty to bring order to
this garden of loss, to pull out the weeds
that crowd out the flowers of the gone,
forsaken loved ones, the disappeared;
to water the roots of every bush of juniper
and quince, keep the level paths of stone
clear of fallen leaves and broken branches
because there are always more paths appearing,
more flowers for the newly murdered, more
green sprouting from fertile earth in honor
of the latest victims. At the end of each day
I look to my employers, the creators of
sorrows. It is because of them that I am
always working, always tired, my tools
and instruments never far from my hands.
There is never anyone to help or relieve me,
no support for these sad, dreary tasks,
no one but myself to listen to the long list
of complaints and objections I keep in
my back pocket like a contract that binds
me with misery. And no matter how much
I wash there is always dirt under my fingernails,
dark lines on the palms of my hands whose
only purpose is to help me tell visitors to
this beautiful garden how every story ends.

Copyright 2016 Jose Padua

garden_july19_2015_dsc_5413_three

Photograph by Jose Padua

One comment on “Jose Padua: How the Gardener of Sorrows Tends to the Sadness of Things

  1. triciaknoll
    September 20, 2016

    Oh, my. The hard work of this gardening, its constant need, and the dirt that is always under the gardener’s fingernails. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on September 20, 2016 by in Poetry and tagged .
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