Lee Herrick: Gardening secrets of the dead (2012, WordTech Editions) No rating

Gardening Secrets of the Dead by Lee Herrick

When the light pivots, hum — not so loud the basil will know, but enough to water it with your breath. Gardening has nothing to do with names like lily or daisy. It is about verbs like uproot, traverse, hush. We can say it has aspects of memory and prayer, but mostly it is about refraction and absence, the dead long gone when the plant goes in. A part of the body. Water and movement, attention and dirt.

Once, I swam off the coast of Belize and pulled seven local kids along in the shallow Caribbean, their brown bodies in the blue water behind me, the first one holding my left hand like a root, the last one dangling his arm under the water like a lavender twig or a flag in light wind. A dead woman told me: Gardening, simply, is laughing and swimming a chorus of little brown miracles in water so clear you can see yourself and your own brown hands becoming clean.

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