How the Gardener of Sorrows Tends to the Sadness of Things

Photograph by Jose Padua
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.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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2 responses to “How the Gardener of Sorrows Tends to the Sadness of Things

  1. Jessie Martinovic

    Your writing is beautiful, thank you

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