by Marian Allen
Near the sun-up gate, where the moonlight doesn’t reach at this bird-sleeping hour of the night, a blight touches the roots of a rose bush. A line of darker green… then brown… creeps up the stem, out a side-stem, along the leaf, through the veins, until it touches the tip-most leaf of another bush.
The blight spreads to the new bush like watercolor through damp paper, down the leaf-stem to the side-stem to the main stem, across and out to other leaf-tips till it finds one touching another in the sun-down direction. On to another bush.
Reaching a path, the blight subsides to the base of the hedge, then creeps across, using fallen leaves, drifted petals, grains of pollen like living stones to cross a gravel stream.
Near the sun-up gate the blight fades from the rose’s roots, its stem, its side-stem. The pink buds take back color, though they will shrivel and fall unopened. So, too, the bush beside it, then the bush beyond.
Meanwhile, the blight progresses into the garden’s core and settles in the heart of the maze, drawing its trailing tendrils after it.
It is waiting, now.
Waiting for tomorrow.
Waiting for the crowds who love to thread the maze–the crowds which, tomorrow, will find more in its center than they have ever found before.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What happens in a garden after dark?