The old gardener

Occasional suns graze his pots, always early mornings, though not with the regularity of soot which follows no pattern but persistence. Three stories high above Used Books Bought and Sold he lines his single sill with five containers of assorted colors; scruffy pots, from which traces of spindly green make a pale appearance. Now he bends over his seedlings, spooning nourishment from a once empty mayonnaise jar, recently refilled with some dark concoction that he ladles sparingly in silent concentration. No horn, no shout, no siren lifts his eye streetward; as if sheer will can pad these pots with lushness, spill meaty tomatoes or jungles of golden bloom into a world where, daily, cement shadows prey on the afternoon.

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