To Plant a Garden

Macro shot of a small blue flower

Yesterday, I compartmentalized hope.
72 squares, seeded and soaked,
I laid a clear cover on top of each cell,
Like the veils I place over my heart—
But this top protects and warms,
My efforts never feel like that.

Each packet I opened,
Ripping the top off with my “clean” hand,
And placed the promises in my palm.
I pondered each one—
My mind creating the pictures of future growth,
Pansies, tomatoes, Echinacea, Forget-Me-Nots…
Some to feed my belly,
Others to feed my soul.

This kernel of beauty
Wrought from death
Holds the power
Of regeneration and renewal.
I offer a breath of prayer
And sink each one into the moist, dark square
Knowing that they—like me—
Will bloom,


Poem by Carmen L. Brown

Carmen L. Brown is a community college English professor living in East Tennessee. Her work has most recently been published in the Penwood Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Voices of Eve, and Abbey of the Arts. She blogs at