We climb barefoot to the roof garden. The stairs are still
new, still steep for my cartography. My parents have rooted
through to their farming genes after retirement. We pluck
from a blush of tomatoes, the red ones, the ripe cucumber.
My daughter’s hand smoothes into its prickliness as she holds
it like a planet. A rain of chilies under an umbrella of green-
ness. Lady fingers are purple, we relearn our colors. My father
digging out turmeric as we dig in wild, enthused with shovels
of our hands. Where it breaks off, a sun of yellow. My mother
passes around baskets. We step around rakes, weed-grown
grow-bags. The mushroom-room smells of straw and wet heat.
It envelops a silence of someone dreaming. We are inclined to tip-
toe our thoughts. Gravid with sprouting, rows of straw-bags. Hyphae
spreading wide into generations of growth-webs. We add to baskets,
oyster mushrooms fanning out in this warmth between our hands.
photo credit: Rachel Horton-Kitchlew, Unsplash