DEAR IN THE GARDEN

Now that summer vacation has begun, there’s middle school and high school “dear” in our community garden.

Instead of using the obvious fence door, my “dear” ninth grader keeps running down the garden rows and jumping the fence like he’s a hurdler running track.

He accidentally steps on Marigolds while he’s watering the tomatoes.

He finds ladybugs and tries to put them on his “dear” sixth grade brother.

“Did we plant tomatoes?” he asks, standing in front of plants that need staking.

“Yes,” I say, looking at all of the green fruit weighing down the plants he has just landed next to after hurdling his long legs over the fence while carrying a milk jug of water in his arms.

“They don’t look like tomatoes,” he says, looking at the long thin green fruit on some of the plants. “They’re not round.”

“We planted Roma,” I say, although that might not be right.

What did we plant? It was so long ago.

After closer inspection, I’m not sure myself if they are some kind of peppers or tomatoes. I know they’re not ripe.

“Just keep watering them,” I say.

“Watch the Marigolds,” I add as he steps to the side. “Next year, maybe you can be a ‘dear’ and help us label what we plant.”

–c

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