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Flower Gardeners Of War

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

My parents are gardeners

from the land you know

as war and rice paddies

A place where incendiary precipitation

pattered against infertile soils and

limbs of lovers scattered the streets

Where souls and cities were slaughtered

by disputing doctrines and

palm trees swayed to the songs of

unceasing flocks of choppers

There, fumes of endless exhaust laced

the atmosphere as

arable terrain was set ablaze

Shovels swapped for snipers.

Seeds swapped for bullets.

How could one expect any type

of floriculture to flourish in such


So when the sea beckoned their names,

promising obscure fates,

they could not abdicate.

The ocean– its own kingdom–

is no more serene than the one from which they came

It is a nation of no good;

wrathful currents swallowed some whole,

pirates thieved what was left

of those poor, penniless souls,

and many did not make it.

Sullen skies sobbed and wept for them, those

spiritless, ramshackle bodies congested

in a single flimsy vessel that carried them

to human encampments– a city of vagrants–

where home was made out of the inhabitable

and ten thousand pairs of exhausted feet

remained, waiting...

Their trek brought them to the rich, American soil,

And in spite of new obstacles,

the genesis of their

long-awaited garden.

I blossom because of squalid hands

My parents are gardeners of war

And I,

Their dear cultivation.

Editor(s): Leandra S.

Photo Credits: Unsplash

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