Academic journal article Hecate

Conversation in a Garden

Academic journal article Hecate

Conversation in a Garden

Article excerpt

Conversation in a Garden

The sprinklers are on. They stretch like telegraph poles down the rows of lettuce, closer and closer to each other as they get further away. The rows of lettuce converge at the end.

That the sprinklers get closer and all rows converge to a point is an illusion.

Two sisters laugh and dance, chasing the showers of water around its circular orbit. They rest under its outstretched arms, sheltering from the scorching sun. The youngest catches the head of a sprinkler while it spins and gulps a mouthful of water. The water runs down her chin, between her seedling breasts -- gloriously cooling. Her laughter dissipates. It tickles in my ears. I am watching my young self. I am hearing my own laughter.

This is also an illusion.

The children disappear. There is only the faraway sound of the tick-tick of the sprinklers as they turn, the patter of the water on the ground which dims as the earth becomes saturated, the drumming of the water hitting the pallets of vege-paks every time the sprinkler on the end makes a full rotation.

There is also my uncle's voice. No, it is not -- it is my anticipation of his voice.

I sit there on an old apple crate in front of another apple crate with a box full of peat on it. I make a series of holes with a chopstick and drop a seed in, careful to place it the right way up. He works from the other side.

He is facing me. Unlike my father, my uncle is balding and grey with lines etched around his eyes and skin ripened by the sun. He wears his age in a thick belt around his middle, forcing the buttoned edge of his shirt into scallops. …

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