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In Grandmother's Garden

I dug a hole in the garden my fifth summer, a pit to snare the tiger - cynical assassin padding on spongy leaf mold and peat, walking among the pepper plants and tomatoes in their green season, walking from my dream into reality. I spaded the sides straight to thwart the curve of his claws, while thick-leaved voices of the corn dangled in uneven songs behind my back. Shadows burned umber stripes across my legs. Grandmother watched from the galaxy next door, pink-starred bean blossoms clustered at her knees. She told me never to bury a thing as wild as fear. Memorize the contour of its tooth, she said, then let it go. The tiger leaped - what astonishment lit his eyes when I unbarred the dream to let him pass into the narrow daylight beyond the pit.

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