I was surprised by the disappointment and sense of loss I felt because my plan to have a vegetable plot in a farmer’s nearby field did not come to be. I found I missed the sweetness and mystery of the faces Sweet Heart and I loved, practically instantly. Out of that sadness came the poem “I Will Keep Broken Things.”

In this way:
True to his empathetic spirit, Wise Heart said to me, as he stacked row upon row of red ginger that he’d removed from what will hopefully be our next garden in our yard, “Que Piensas? (What do you think?: which is how we both start many a conversation) Maybe we should give some of these flowers to Snows” -the English translation of Nieves, which is La Senora’s name. I was delighted by the thought! There had been many medicinal plants around their house, but no flowers. Yes! I said. Excellent. And so he took the plants to Snows, and in return we received, from Queen Snows, so naturally elegant in her generosity, a bushel of pepinos (cucumbers)!

And so I was taught, again, that the original of anything may be broken, but what is left can be usefully different and often well worth keeping. Our connection survived.

“I Will Keep Broken Things” is in the Journal section of the website: http://www.alicewalkersgarden.com/alicewalkerjournal.html

©2008 Alice Walker