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The Pathless Garden

by Edd Vick

Hemmed in on three sides by the blank walls of buildings and on the fourth by an unbroken fence, the garden is never less than perfect. In spring, there are hyacinths and daffodils, in summer lilies and geraniums, and in autumn chrysanthemums and violas. In winter, nothing grows there.

There are no entrances, no paths.

And no weeds.

Mark, my husband, says the garden was put there for us and the other thirty or so families in our apartment building across the street. He says God put it there, and that angels hover over it, weeding and sowing. It might, he says, even be the Garden of Eden.

Mark says a lot of things.

And when I ask where the apple tree is, he just scowls.

Winter comes, and still no one enters the garden. The flowers drop their petals. Overnight, all the empty stalks disappear. The garden is a flat expanse of dirt ready for spring.

Mark frets about it. I wait for fresh color to enter the world. On Valentines Day he brings me a silk rose. Our fight that evening is over something inconsequential, something tiny. Something that means everything. He leaves.

It's not the first time he has left me, but he doesn't return. A month later a tender sapling sprouts in the center of the pathless garden. I watch to see what fruit it will bear.

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