Dorothea's Garden

Christina Frigo


At 1426 F Street

Dorothea cooked two meals a day for her tenants.

They were her flowers.

She picked each one carefully—

no relatives

no friends

no one to notice their absence.

Just one



looking for another.


She tends to each flower



One is Bert Montoya,

a Hispanic schizophrenic,

wrapped in the roots

of an apricot tree.

Then Dorothy Miller and Benjamin Fink

—alcoholics in life—

still thirsty in the dirt.

Betty wilts in her white nightgown

with James and Leona.

And Vera Faye Martin’s wristwatch

still ticks irrelevant time.


Seven flowers planted

and waiting

in Dorothea’s garden


and she hides

in a bright red


Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790