- after "The Garden of Death," 1896; Hugo Simberg 

"...think of me as the Grim Reaper" - Mitch 
McConnell quoted on CBS News, April 2019 

There'll be no need to stage un-
limited debate or filibuster to block 
or delay the progress of souls: this
is simply the place where the dead 
end up before going to heaven.* Too
many plants to tend in this garden:
in the millions. More than one dark-
cowled attendant, though not enough 
of them. Of the three, the middle one 
looks to be most tender. She clasps 
a sprig of violets or bluebells 
to her chest—her favorite, out of 
the row in front of her: cacti, 
orange daisies, asters; white 
snowdrops that appear in early 
spring, while ice still covers 
the ground. Death walks among 
the raised flower boxes, green
watering-can in one hand. Death
clears weeds and brushes away
aphids from under the leaves.  
No one tells you death doesn't 
come to reap you in your prime
nor release you from earthly
suffering. You arrive any time
of day or night, not expecting
to be fed or watered. You look 
up as death's face bends over 
yours, at the hollows that used
to be eyes. Is it relief, even kind- 
ness, compared to the hate and
hubris, the violence you heard
preached from every podium, 
on the way here? 

*attributed to Finnish painter Hugo Simberg

One Reply to “Garden”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.