My Special Garden
by Gay Degani
grows in my garden, Digitalis
purpurea. Its purple flowers are trumpets, sometimes blaring out a Sousa
March that only I can hear.
my husband, “Doesn’t that
tune just make you proud?”
at me, annoyed as
usual. “What tune? What are you talking about? Can’t you see I’m reading?”
Marine Corp hymn. You
know, ‘From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli!’”
don’t hear a damn thing,” he
mutters. “Where do you come up with these ideas?”
out on the patio drinking our
morning tea. He’s been mumbling to himself about the stock market. When I ask
him if it’s crashing again, he grunts and adds more sugar to his mug.
teeth will rot, you know,”
I tell him. He loves his sugar. He loves his tea. Can’t get enough of it. Let
his teeth rot. The romance is gone. Has been for a long, long time. And I have
this perfect garden.
worked hard to make it what
it is today, a glorious riot of color and sound. Rhododendron along the back
wall, its pink profusion throbbing elegies worthy of Igor Stravinsky. The sweet
bells of my lilies of the valley tinkle softly. Graceful delphiniums hum in the
breeze while trills from the larkspur add to the cacophony of music my husband
a foolish dolt, I have to
admit. No sensibility toward anything as lovely as my profusion of special
flowers. All he cares about is the green of money. Thank goodness I have a
symphony growing right outside my kitchen door, bringing delight to my ears,
beauty to my eyes while my husband’s fingers turn black with newspaper ink, his
mouth always set in a perpetual grimace, the deep furrows in his brow like the
rows I’ve hoed in my vegetable patch.
there more tea?” he
out a fresh bag from my
special tea coffer and drop it into his cup, pour hot water from the thermal
pot, nudge the sugar bowl toward him.
take too much,” I tell
him as he scoops spoonful after spoonful into his cup.
off my back,” he grumbles
and buries his face in his beloved Wall Street Journal.
back in my comfortable
chair and take in my garden, each plant selected for its beauty, its
musicality, its own very deadly poison.
begin to sing Ave
my lovelies. Any day now.
Degani has received nominations and
honors for her work including Pushcart consideration, Best of the Net, and Best
Small Fictions and won the 11th Annual Glass Woman Prize. She's
published a full-length collection, Rattle of Want, (Pure Slush
Press, 2015) and a suspense novel, What Came Before (Truth
Serum Press, 2016). Her story "Scablands" was fourth
runner-up in the 2023 The
Saturday Evening Post Great American Short Story contest.
Read Gay’s story
"Scablands" at The
Saturday Evening Post
stories about mothers.
of Want, Full-length collection of short stories
and flash fiction What