The Shorter Path That Goes Through the Garden Takes More Time Than the One That Goes Around It


“I know you’ll do the right thing,” his mother said when he had that look in his eye
again. And what she said seemed to hurt him. He thought it was sharper than the tongue
of a bird.
He watched a tired cloud touch the forehead of a stone as he watered the lawn. He
heard the wind’s voice change to a watery oboe of welcome as darkness came on.
Then he remembered what his mother had said.
Then he thought about the black doves pouring from the cathedral at the edge of
the square in the town his father lived in. And the limbs of the trees in the orchard sharply
jutting and turning back on themselves as if each tree had been assembled with wire.
And then he thought about the church’s cold floor and the fat little Madonnas as
well fed as veal and angels rounder than suckling pigs.
And because what you believe isn’t what you get, he felt different and uncertain
and cautious for a very long time.
Then the moment came when his heart spread all the way to the sky. And the
moment before when walking on a country road, one horse just looks wrong.
When you have let someone down, the mirror also deserves your apology.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.