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.