We smile for the camera at the ribbon cutting, and the town officials
press hands and offer tidy sound-bytes and make the rounds to see each plot.
A reporter sent to cover the grand opening of the community garden
spies me exchanging pleasantries with a woman showing her hatchlings
of eggplant flowers to a friend. Later, after the crowd disperses, I march back
to my own square feet of soil, where the peppers have been struggling against
the heat and the tomatoes have yet to descend. I can't help but want the best
for these not-quite-offspring, these vegetal progeny of my wistful, wishing hands.
I lean into each nascent leaf, reach toward every thin stem. They all stare back.
"Grow, baby, grow," I whisper, hoping my little prayer finds the roots.