by Tim Gilmore, 8/25/2012
They were wrought-iron porch columns of the kind that used to ornament his grandmother’s porch. That small square marble-floored porch, the size of an elevator, on that small yellow stucco late-1940s house. The columns were
decorated with arabesques and curlicues and iron leaves. There were two of them. He found them in the trash at the curb, waiting for the garbage truck, in front of a thrift shop. He took them home, the things were much heavier than he’d expected, embedded them deeply enough in the ground that they wouldn’t topple, 10 feet apart, and planted maypop at their bases. The maypop will grow up the rusted iron, bridge the space between the tops of the rails, and bloom a strange, otherworldly blue every summer and fall. He will love the maypop as much as he loves the columns. When he looks at the weird gibbous blossoms on the rusted arcs, he will think of himself as both gardener and archaeologist. He’d take the garden at the end of the world over the garden at the beginning.