The Promises in My Garden
by Holly Day
The moth selects the leaf carefully from the others
following some algorithm or philosophy only she knows
lays her eggs on the ribbed, green surface in patterns that seem
either profound or random, depending on the decipherer.
There could be messages for her unborn offspring in the discarded casings
they will soon burst from, perhaps a forwarding address so her children can find her
a map to a treasure of honeysuckle vines and wide, green backyards
religious texts that have been passed from one generation to another.
In turn, the leaf reacts in dismay to having the eggs deposited on its surface
begins layering cellular material around the encased larvae, like an oyster or a clam
trying to protect itself from an irritating grain of sand
by creating a pearl, leaving the moth’s original message all but obliterated
by a jungle of thick, green spikes jutting out of the leaf
its formerly flat surface curled and distressed. But perhaps this, too
is part of the moth’s message, the transformation of her words
into a Braille illuminated by the agony of a weed.