Gardener at Heart - Book Two


My soul came to the door the other day,

Along about dusk. “How’s it going, Soul?”

I said as I let it in. “It’s been a long time.”

“Too long,” said my soul. “Got a bite to eat?”

I thought my soul didn’t look too good:

Scrawny, dirty, dressed in rags, shivering a little.

It took a seat by the fire and held out its hands to the blaze.

I got out some leftovers, and it wolfed everything down.

“I’m still hungry,” it said. “You don’t change much,” I said.

“You’re doing well, by the looks of it,” said my soul.

“Not too bad,” I said, trying to be modest,

“Keeping the wolf from the door, at any rate.”

“How about putting me up for a while?” said my soul.

“I don’t have any room,” I said quickly. “I have guests coming.

The kids wouldn’t like it. Don’t look at me like that!”

My soul has the kind of eyes that can see right through you.

“I’ve been sleeping under bridges,” it said. “In haystacks.

I’ve been living off crumbs, scraps, garbage!”

“I don’t want you here!” I said. “You know we don’t get along!

You’re never willing to compromise.

With you, it’s always one big fight!”

“I don’t believe in compromise!” said my soul.

It started to get that wild look.

Suddenly it jumped up and took off its coat,

Or what passed for a coat, anyway,

Some old rag I wouldn’t be caught dead in.

It threw off its hat. It kicked off its shoes.

Then it actually began ripping off its shirt.

“You stop that right now!” I yelled.

“Do you think I want to see you naked?”

“This isn’t about you,” said my soul. “It’s about me.

I’m tired of hiding. I’m tired of disguises.

I’m sick to death of everything!”

“Why do you have to come here and make a scene?” I cried.

“I don’t need this kind of grief!

You’re going to ruin everything!”

Now the only thing my soul was wearing

Was some kind of plaid thing wrapped around like a skirt.

It ripped this off, too. I turned my back.

“I want you to get out!” I yelled. “Now!”

My soul ignored me. It looked around,

Then went over and pulled a blanket off the wall,

Not any old blanket but my best Indian blanket,

The prize of my collection of genuine pre-white artifacts,

Irreplaceable. “Put that back!” I shouted.

My soul wrapped this around itself like in a painting.

It stood there looking at me in that way it has.

“What’s got into you?” I howled. My soul said, “Got a peace pipe?”

Well, I wasn’t about to let it wreck any more of my treasures.

So it went to the garage and helped itself to my tools.

It said it would make what it needed.

Now it’s morning and my soul is still here.

It’s out back, building some kind of a lodge, I guess,

Stubborn as a pig. What on earth next, I wonder.

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