This summer garden is for you

27 Jul

I grew collards in this northern soil, like my sweet Daddy before me. I planted just weeks after he died, when it seemed impossible that my heart could nourish anything. He has no sons on earth to continue this work, but I will not lose more in this season. I croon his name as I inspect my tender plants in the morning, daddy daddy daddy daddy, every breath a prayer.

My collards grew proud and tall, assuring me there is still more of him somewhere. I plucked my first harvest with no joy. I rinsed and sliced and spiced in my little kitchen. I ache for Mississippi because I ache for simpler times. I have made a home – I have worked my land.

I made a precious feast for his only brother. Just a handful of greens to show that I love you, that my heart has travelled just like yours. They were delicious, but also not as good.

I drank the pot likker alone in the kitchen, I wanted every bitter drop. Just like my grief, it makes me grimace but contains essential sustenance for the next season.

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