The poethical wager
At first she thought that if she stood very still for long enough, the plants would resume communication. It began to become apparent however, when no breeze was present, that they never stopped. Through close observation and measurement, grew an understanding of the ways in which this happened. (15)
The only measurement unable to be logged efficiently was that of time.
As her garden began to flourish through her care, she began to neglect appointments and deadlines in a way that was foreign to her life before.
The beguilement would grow and wane as the patterns of growth and bloom were tamed, but the sense of responsibility never left her.
Soon every space was filled and the line from one plant to another blurred until it became one thing. She felt a charge of power every time her fingers touched the moist dirt to push a seed into its depths, so she kept going. The sense of hope and expectation was heady.
And the garden inevitably responded to every little touch and consideration.
At first she thought it may have been her imagination, however, she could have sworn the plants leaned towards her as she passed by. (7)
Barefoot, she could enjoy the rubbery grasp of parsley and the heavy soporific aroma of oregano as it threw itself under her feet and stained her toes.
The breeze rustling the lilies outside her window woke her up.
Digging at the base of the plant was not easy. The dense growth made for some tough old patches and she threw her back into it. Yanking on a difficult patch which gave way suddenly, found her flat on her back. (9) It was a surprisingly soft landing and she was pleased to see none of the majestic flower-heads had been caught under her.
She got up slowly, enjoying the tug of the leaves on her skin as she dusted herself off. The nodding heads of the lilies tapped at her shoulders and back.
The breeze could have picked up.
She woke when it was dark and watched the plants separate for her as she made her way inside and onto her bed where she slept until the sound of the Jacaranda knocking on the roof woke her up. The bed was covered in rich golden pollen. (10, 9)
The wind picked up or the branches scratched against the roof and the walls.
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Susan Presto is a PhD student at Griffith University and owner of Presto Creatives, a warehouse space on the Gold Coast where creative minds meet and showcase their work. Her story ‘Death of the author’ appeared in TEXT Vol 22, No 1.
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Vol 23 No 1 April 2019
General Editor: Nigel Krauth. Editors: Julienne van Loon & Ross Watkins
Creative works editor: Anthony Lawrence