Lyn Lifshin

The Last Garden in Aleppo

this small oasis of color and life
as cluster bombs, barrel
bombs, missiles rain on houses,
hospitals, schools in this
hazardous, unpredictable place,
a gardener was able to grow
flowers, vegetables, broad
leaved plants. Roses, gardenias,
bougainvillea. The gardener’s
whole existence dedicated
to the beauty of life, a small
courageous attempt to promote
peace. Dust and smoke blur
the stars, the watered ferns and
lilies in the shadows. Shivering
thru the raids, dreaming of
his dead wife until eventually a
barrel bomb lands near his
garden, kills him, his dream that
the “essence of the world is a
flower,” the color, smell, how it
can inspire. But in the time
since his death, Aleppo seems
mostly defined by another
floral attribute: fragility.

Lyn Lifshin was born and raised in Vermont.
She earned a BA in English from Syracuse
University and an MA from Vermont (writing
a thesis on Dylan Thomas). She moved to
New York in the 1970s and began submitting
her work for publication. She quickly began
appearing in a variety of literary magazines.
Eventually, she began earning a living
primarily from workshops, readings and
visiting faculty positions.