Microfiction: Gardening

In the pot with the dead primula, something was poking through the withered leaves, not a single shoot, more like a brush sprouting.

I rescued the living thing from the pot full of death and flinched away from what lay on the trowel—no healthy root, but a clump of brown pods like pomegranate seeds emerged, dense and shiny, chitin-like, a colony about to hatch. The mass quivered. Was it the breeze? My trembling hand? I hesitated between destroying the thing and curiosity. Curiosity won.

I have put it in a pot in isolation at the end of the path, away from the flowers. I inspect it every day, watch the brush bristles shove higher, purplish brown, awkward-looking, thrusting in different directions. Today, small, flat leaves opened. Like hands waving. In thanks, or in threat?

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “Microfiction: Gardening”

    1. It’s certainly not tulips. I’ll take a pick when the critters get big enough. If I’d had my wits about me I’d have photographed the skin-crawly stuff it’s sprouting from.

    1. My first inclination was to stick the weird-looking stuff in a plastic bad and bin it, but I hate killing things, and I was also curious as to what it was going to produce. I’ll let you know 🙂

    1. I’ll have to reread Mariana. I’m wondering if this thing isn’t a spoonful of left-over cooked lentils, put in the compost, spread on the garden, used to pot a primula and…resuscitated!

    2. Just read it and it’s one I’m not familiar enough with for the lines to have stuck, but that opening is tremendous. Who’d have thought flower pots would lend themselves to such beautiful imagery?

      1. Right? Is it the iambic pentameter that gives it that clopping sensation as you read it? That ability is something you have – much of your work has that ability to hold on tightly and create worlds hence why I think of the greats after reading you

      2. Poetry with a very strong rhythm has to be good or it just sounds faintly ridiculous, or at least it lends itself easily to spoof. Tennyson always avoids that as does Walter de la Mare, a poet my grandmother was very fond of, and I can see why. Same sort of thing, with a strong meter and refrains, but lovely verse.

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