My mother loved to water her garden.
We had sprinklers.
There were six children, and I know she went outside and watered to have her time alone.
I followed sometimes. She never seemed to mind.
She would use her thumb to fan the water at the end of the hose just right.
I inherited that beautiful thumb!
But it doesn’t look quite as pretty on my freckly white hand as it did on her tan one, always with a long thick fingernail.
She talked to the plants and flowers as she watered.
I heard her.
She would whisper, too.
I asked her once what she whispered, while she watered.
She told me she prayed for each us.
That made me feel safe.
I have this need to water.
Not like I have in the past
But like my mother.
I fan the hose with my thumb.
Plants don’t like me as much as they liked my mom, but I try to make friends.
I whisper now too.
I miss my mom.
It has only been five months since she left us behind.
But I can feel her next to me, in the breeze,
as I water.
Watering has now become holy to me…
I hope she still waters in heaven
and whispers about us.