The Gardener

by Chris Campbell

I was 17 when my grandmother came to live with us. She smelled of roses and urine. She was lucid, but spoke only in rhyme – Victorian poesy learned a century ago. Her voice gurgled like a garden hose that has not been completely turned off, air and water dancing in the back of her throat. Nearing death, her skin turned translucent and flaked off like the dry parchment of an onion. At night, in her bed, she would weep for hours, “Life is a stony way of woe; please Lord I am ready to go” and in the next room, buried under blankets, I was a coward, unable to lift her feather pillow.


Chris Campbell is an architect by profession but a poet at heart. Her work has been featured in the Yolo Crow, Sacramento News & Review, and Unity Magazine. Her blog can be found here.