“Rosemary, for Fidelity and Revival”

My new piece in GRLSQUASH Issue 3 is out! “Rosemary, for Fidelity and Revival” is about gardening as a therapy tool (in addition to talk therapy and, now, finally, medication) for dealing with my C-PTSD. GRLSQUASH’s crowdfunding for printing and paying authors ends August 1, so be sure to donate and order the issue!

Image description: the cover of GRLSQUASH Issue 3 by Sonic Yonix. The cover is an illustration of two dark-skinned women with their long dark hair braided with flowers and braided to each other’s hair. The background has large plants.
Image description: the cover of GRLSQUASH Issue 3 by Sonic Yonix. The cover is an illustration of two dark-skinned women with their long dark hair braided with flowers and braided to each other’s hair. The background has large plants.

Re-reading this piece broke my heart for 19-year-old me, who just wanted to be loved and ended up in an abusive relationship for 10 years. I wrote, “People tell me surviving him made me stronger, but surely I could have found the strength somewhere else.

Like the rosemary, I survived. Unlike rosemary, the rest of my garden and I need work to thrive. Sometimes the work feels impossible. When I try to cut out all the dead leaves and stems from my alpine strawberry and my chive plant, I can’t do it. The foliage is too thick on the strawberry to get in deep enough to trim everything. The chives sprout new growth in the center of the dead parts. 

And what else is rooted in my heart that I can’t extricate? 

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