Margaret kept a garden on the patio of her tiny flat. Every day she’d get home from work and water all her plants, rake their soil and sing. In spring she rolled her awning back to let the rain and sun dance with leaves of vegetables that Margaret grew. She read to them on weekends when the city fizzed with engines shoving hastily below. Margaret gazed across the hazy sky when summer came, watched buildings waver in the heat like a mirage.
One summer day, walking home from work where she’d stayed longer than usual, Margaret saw her patio way up on the building. She’d walked the same way years and years and never noticed just how high her garden was. She wondered how she could’ve overlooked the view. It looked so small and far away, but still she saw the tender shoots of plants drinking in the sun, carpeting the metal railing where they hung, a spot of lushness clinging to a steal façade like moss along the higher branches of a tree.
The closer Margaret got the more curious her little plot appeared. Vines grew out and spread to grip the windows of her flat. Stalks of plants she couldn’t quite recall rose above her railing, rolling in a breeze as if they beckoned Margaret’s hands to come and harvest their return. It all seemed so unreal as Margaret made her way in traffic, smelled the heated asphalt softening beneath an image of the sun reflected in the glass of architecture piled around her. When she was only blocks away, Margaret saw the whole floor was overtaken, a tract of dense foliage wrapped around the building like the leas of agriculture far beyond the city. She wondered if she were still within a dream.
The elevator took Margaret way up to her flat. In it she could could smell the soil pressed under her fingernails, feel the film of dust and dirt that farmers tend to wear. When the doors opened, Margaret felt a rural breeze that smelled of brown and apples. She walked the dusty path to where her door slowly opened in the subtle wind. Behind it all was as she’d left it earlier that day, except that on her patio a robin built its nest. It sang a song much like the one that Margaret hummed, the only one that rose above the traffic.