21 | The Garden behind the Moon | A Dream of Wheat Field

The Garden behind the Moon

It didn’t rain all summer.
Instead of water, my father used prayer
for his garden. Despite his friends’ laughter,
he planted spinach and lettuce,
countless rows of cucumbers
in beds lined up meticulously
ignoring old people’s warnings
about the drought.
Every afternoon, he pushed his hat back,
wiped off his sweat,
and looked up at the empty sky,
the sun scorching
the acacia trees shriveling in the heat.
In July, the ground looked like cement.
Like the ruins of a Roman thermal bath,
it kept the vestiges of a lost order,
traces of streams long gone.
He yelled at me to step back
from the impeccable architecture
of climbing green beans,
the trellis for tomatoes,
although there was nothing to be seen,
no seedlings, no tendrils,
not even weeds,
just parched, bare ground—
as if I were disturbing
the hidden sleep of seeds.


A Dream of Wheat Field

The sunflower droops
to the lazy wave; the wind sleeps;
then, moving in dazzling links and loops,
a marvel of shadow and shine,
a glory of olive and amber and wine,
runs the color in the wheat.

When the wild winds rumbled past you in the fall fields
and you blessed them, you surrendered
to splendor, when you lifted up your ruins on the old road.
Remember the seasons

when the wind was new, when your hands
were good fire in the hands of travelers.

A land of plenty, where
toward the sun, as hasting there,
the colors run
before the wind’s feet
in the wheat.

Wind, as it sings you; kneel there,
so faint and far it seems the drone
of bee or beetle, seems to come
as you must have done, in your first
world, when the wind

A cloud flies there—a swirl
in the hollows like the twinkling feet
of a fairy waltzer; the colors run
to the westward sun,
through the deeps of the ripening wheat
was wind, when your ruin
was a music—you
who were no one, once, and colder,

and were open so wholly to the brokenness
that you sang to whatever left you empty
like the cello in the cello maker’s hands.


reena choudhary writes:

It’s my pleasure to introduce myself. I’m Reena Choudhary, born and raised in India. I have a graduate degree in literature from Delhi University and also completed a diploma in tourism. At present, I am working in a private firm. I have found the courage to write poetry, articles, and blog posts. My poetry has been published in The Pangolin Review, CommuterLit, Cordite Poetry Review, borrowed solace: a journal of literary ramblings, Better Than Starbucks, and Tokyo Poetry Journal.

Writing has been a way for me to hang on to my identity, a way to push myself to grow. My writing time is my oasis; it’s when I can focus on myself and my goals—which is something parents desperately need. As soon as I complete one project, I am already thinking about how I can improve on the next project. Rather than focusing on submission stats, I am able to focus on my work. When a piece is rejected, I return to what keeps me writing—which is writing my best. And I am able to learn from each piece and look forward to many more years of writing.

Follow me on Twitter (@reena1303), Instagram (reenarav13), and Facebook.