by Janet Cincurak
The Fishing Garden
Sitting on the edge of winter and the cold is melting out of the garden. Skeletons of flowers sticking up out of the earth or smashed flat from wind and snow. And I sit holding my piece of a broken branch just above the black, dyed wood chips. Sit upon a smooth grey-blue stone and play at fishing. “Mama, I’ve got one, it’s a whale, a little whale.” And my little girl sits on her own rock holding a stick, trying to show me her whale, while my son calls out from another stone, “I’ve caught an octopus.” And I pretend to catch a fish too.
Sitting on my rock in a sea of wood chips, trying to fish and stop worrying about the pressure in my bum and the blood that keeps flowing then clotting then flowing again and has currently stopped. But for how long. And now I know it’s the clots that are stopping up the blood. “Mama, you’ve caught a fish.” I pretend to reel in my catch as I stare at the stumps of wood that fence the garden. The snow hugging the stumps.
And a day later or a week. In the dead garden again, with my warm children running in the yard, I sit on the cold blue-grey stone, barren. The bloodied toilet, the ambulance and emergency room and IVs, the OR and post op and semi-private room with the woman coughing, are all gone. And so is the baby. I sit on the rock and empty-armed wipe the wet from my eyes.