We’ll Make Our Garden Grow


“NASA plans to grow food on future spacecraft and on other planets as a food supplement for astronauts. Fresh food, such as vegetables, provide essential vitamins and nutrients that will help enable sustainable deep space pioneering.” NASA


Here, a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills. It’s always a red moon, always low in the sky. The rivers do flow, but the water is. . .different. There’s no blue sky, fluffy white, cotton ball clouds, or golden, blushing dawn. Perhaps it’s some consolation that we can see a million stars–shimmering, sparkling jewels, in constellations that are becoming familiar to me now. I’ve started to name them—that one that looks like a dog, Dorcas for my old hound. And that one—just above? I’ve named it Peter Rabbit.

I see it from the greenhouse, rising over the salad greens. Slowly, we’re putting down roots. My baby will be born soon. I’ll name her Sylvia for my mom. We will make our garden grow, and perhaps she will plant a forest for this new Eden.



A bit of flash fiction for Prosery Monday. Lillian has selected two lines from Carl Sandburg’s “Jazz Fantasia.” I chose the line above in italics. My poem has nothing to do with his evocative poem. It’s actually a sort of sequel to an earlier prosery piece I wrote, which you can read here, if you’re so inclined. My mom’s name really was Sylvia, and she didn’t garden, but she loved gardens. For some reason, this song from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide popped into my head while I was writing. It always makes me cry.













48 thoughts on “We’ll Make Our Garden Grow

  1. This is a wonderful post and the contrast between the first line and the landscape you describe, no rivers but amazing stars….so very well done. I’d not heard this song…enjoyed listening to it. I love that this is in first person as I can “experience” it more intently and intimately. I love the naming of the stars.
    I’m so glad you posted to the prompt. Just really really enjoyed this post! Thank you!

    • Wow–thank you so much for your enthusiastic comment, Lillian! I so appreciate it.
      I really like Candide. When my older daughter was in high school, she had such a crush on Kristin Chenoweth, and a friend got her the video of this production. It also had the Westminster Choir, and her friend was attending the college there.

  2. What sci-fi fun this was. So creative to be naming the stars. Perhaps starlight will be good for the Eden.

  3. Read the Lux Mentis – and then this. Made more lovely with the infusion of your Sylvia…
    BTW: Agrodolce Vita is a colloquial term from my family that I noticed too late isn’t referenced on Mr. Google: It means ‘bittersweet life’…

  4. As I read your prosery, I had a sense of what had led up to it, so I read the linked piece, and my sense was right. I hope the new Eden doesn’t go the way of the one they had to flee.

  5. What a great piece, Merril! It reminds me of Trumbull’s film ‘Silent Running’, one of my favourite sci-fi films, especially the scene in which Freeman Lowell, the botanist and ecologist cultivates crops and tends to animals he and his three colleagues are towing in geodesic domes, like enormous greenhouses, with a large spaceship called Valley Forge, as plant life on Earth is becoming extinct. I love that your new Eden is on another planet, with that ‘red moon, always low in the sky’ and ‘a million stars–shimmering, sparkling jewels, in constellations’.

    • Thank you very much, Derrick.
      Yes, I think it was not the best video, but I liked their voices, and that production was a favorite of my older daughter’s when she a senior in high school. 😀

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