Share https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2019/sep/Chiles-Walking.mp3Walking to My Father’s Grave, I Pass His Old GardenThe trees are gone. Not even a stump left to guide me. Instead there are rows of cabbages, snaps peas, carrots.Where the blossom lay, the new owner’s trench of leeks. In later years, the garden was all he knew of the world.The idle release of a marigold and the apple’s journey toward becoming the hard flesh he took back each morningand consumed. It’s what I’m thinking of today as I pass the garden, that soil’s rich motor. What he gazed atback then, cultivated now by a younger man. But why not make room for the yams, the sprouts? I’m on my waywith a handful of parsnips. After all, he had no time for the manicured lawns, nor jars of cut flowersin shops and cemeteries. He preferred the wild clematis, the spectral wigs of dandelion flowers seedingthe chapel grounds, their clocks canceling above the dead. Adam Chiles’s first book Evening Land was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award for best debut collection in Canada. His work is forthcoming in The Moth (Ireland) and The Threepenny Review.Header photo by nature photos, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Adam Chiles by Miriam Berkley.