MARIGOLD WOMAN: I could tell you something poetic, but I’m not sure I believe it

Tiny pink and white flowers, with the kindness of nature, are already at work amongst the trees and mosses of the swamp. Nevertheless, the moonbuggy goes out to plant. Her gloves rattle around her knobbly wrists. The sun picks its way between the clouds like a cat, fastidious, but the moonbuggy is not concerned with the sun beyond its effect on painting and planting.

With her shovels, her trowel, her wheelbarrow, and of course a helpful rabbit, she digs accommodations for her seedlings.

In each hole she finds earthworms, freezing in the unaccustomed exposure. She picks them out of her shovelful of dirt, shakes loose the regrets that cling to them, and sets them back in the soil.

She also finds fat white grubs, their limbs curling and uncurling fretfully as she cradles them in her palm. They eat the roots, they chew up the threadlings of aspiration that push through the dirt—but after all, it is in their nature.

She is unable to kill them herself. So, after staring at their red heads and swollen posteriors for a time, she flings them overhand into the brush. It is, after all, in her nature.

Into each hole she deposits a mixture of all needful things: the bonemeal she had from the vulture, chipped from the skeletons of things we used to believe; good compost, rank with manure and with the pain in my chest that might be grief or might be weakness; a generous handful of dirt.

Then she sets the seedlings in, and buries their roots, and pats them down.

The rabbit watches politely, but makes no remark.