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A Flower In A Garden

A Poem About Endurance And Perseverance

In the shadow of a house lies a garden
choked with brambles, briers, and weeds.
In the back of the garden is a flower
driven to the brink of extinction by its needs.

The north wind blows unceasingly
through the pine trees on the hill,
rustles and rattles the brush in the garden,
whistles over the house's window sill.

Twice the flower sickened and nearly shriveled
but was called back to life by the sun and the rain
from the realm of resignation and despair
where the only remaining legal tender is pain.

The west wind blows from over the sea
bringing cold stinging rain and sleet
from the vast realms of the boundless ocean
to the place where many paths and errands meet.

The garden was drenched as the rains poured down,
the soft soil turned into mud;
the flower was drowned in deep waters,
but refused to yield its life to the flood.

The east wind blows out of the foetid swamps
with a breath foul and dank;
evil voices gibber and crow
amidst the stench of waters putrid and rank.

Pestilence and pain, anger and hate,
intolerance and bigotry, jeasousy and greed;
they all flowed through the garden,
but the flower paid them no heed.

The south wind blows from over the fields and meadows,
bearing the scents of wildflowers and trees;
the chirping of birds and the sounds of a brook
float downwind on the warm and sleepy breeze.

Lift up your face to the sun, little flower,
and soak up that golden yellow light;
forget the darkness and the anguish,
and may all your remaining days be bright!

Robbie Hatley, Tuesday January 27, 1998


I wrote this poem on the evening of Tuesday January 27, 1998, while commuting home from work on an Orange County Transportation Authority route 66 eastbound bus. I finished the poem at 6:13PM, as the bus was passing throughthe intersection of McFadden and Bristol.

In part, this poem was a tribute to a friend of mine, Gregory Miley, who, alas, died of a heart attack on June 29, 1998, five months after I wrote this poem. But in larger part, this poem is a tribute to the human spirit, the ability of humans to overcome suffering and prosper in spite of adversity.


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