reaching for the middle

Maizey knew secrets about everybody. She wasn’t the town gossip, quite, because she only ever listened—no one’s deepest fears ever passed her lips. Instead, she was a sponge, and felt herself grow heavy with whispers and confessions, felt herself expanding with fertile wish and hopeless error. Some days her head tilted to one side with the weight of it all.

But that never stopped her, never kept her from patting a shoulder and asking all the right questions. This was her purpose, her role in life, and she’d never once questioned the wisdom or the burden of her gift. At night, she planted these secrets like seeds, and then she waited. And every morning there were flowers. Morning glory and nasturtium, rose and daisy, snapdragon and alyssum.

In her mind she knew their real names, Fred and Ruth, Shannon and Cindy, Brittany and Brian, but she liked to think of them as blooms, growing up through life’s soil.

She liked to water them with tears and open them with sunshine. She was happy to keep their truths hidden underground.

She was happy to be the gardener.





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