by Nita Hill

I haven’t bothered to count how many gardens I’ve inherited. The first house I ever owned cost 20K and was in a neighborhood in Memphis in the midst of gentrification. There was a strip of land between me and Spencer. Spencer spent his time on his front porch sitting in a rotting Lazyboy in a bathrobe that his butt had worn through. Sometimes after a day of imbibing he would rise and stand on the edge of the porch and howl like a wolf. The narrow strip seemed to need planting. I would go to the state forest and steal ferns because I was poor and because the strip was under several large oak trees. Well, digging it out became an adventure in car parts. Someone had worked on a truck or car and simply thrown the parts in the strip where they were buried under years of leaf mulch. I thought that those parts would be the worst thing I ever encountered.

Working on this latest garden I’ve found the ordinary stuff: Legos, Christmas light bulbs, shingle scraps, lots of used charcoal briquettes, nails and screws and even a poker chip. Then I came upon an orb.

The orb looked familiar and, before too long and much digging, it revealed itself.

Eventually the entire commode was exhumed. I don’t expect to find anything that interesting ever again.