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By Briana Loveall

The skies are gray again and my garden is dead for the winter. The correct term is “put to bed,” and implies that I, the gardener, have taken the steps necessary to remove the weeds, turn the soil, and cover the beds with a thick protective blanket.

I can stand at my kitchen sink, coffee cup in hand, and see my garden from the window. The green raised beds are ugly against the backdrop of motley colors of mud-splattered earth and gray skies. The beds do not look restful. They look cold, alone, and out of place. They look dead.

I have taken to staring at my garden a lot lately. Partly because I am not ready for the next six months of aching cold, the way my carpets will turn wet and dingy with shoes that haven’t been wiped off properly when entering the house from the bleakness outside. I’ll stand in my kitchen, hip resting against the laminate countertop, while the noises of my oldest daughter, Madison, crescendos in the background as she orders her toys around, the quiet void that means the baby, now six months old, is asleep, and I will think about my garden.



About the Author

Briana Loveall earned her MFA from Eastern Washington University. She has forthcoming publications with The Rumpus, Crab Orchard Review, Glassworks Magazine, Platform Review, The Forge, and others. In 2017 she was a finalist for the Annie Dillard Award, the Montana Book Festival Award, and most recently, the 2018 Beacon Street Prize. Her work was nominated for the 2018 Best American Essays.