Soul Horticulturist

Anastasia Sukhanov
2 min readJun 9, 2024


A man I picked with hope for love once asked me if I wanted children.

I said I didn’t know.

This truth did not sit well with him:

“A woman always knows. It is either yes or no.”

I felt all the women in me rise. Ancestral female fury.

I felt sisterhood, which I never understood before.

I argued back by intuition more than mind, we had a fight,

It was the beginning of the end.

A man, my brother, once told me there’s no higher purpose to a human

Than the children. He has four sons and only speaks to one of them.

“No regrets”, he said.

I didn’t argue back but wondered if the other three agree on this.

A friend once told me that her new-born son was “perfect”

And cast at me a smile of serotonin delirium.

Pre-motherhood she had a harsher view on humans,

A doctor to lung cancer patients who were also relapsed smokers.

I didn’t argue back.

It was on a rainy day in Kew that I asked myself about children.

My counterpart — the old pagoda tree, grown sideways like an old arthritis hag,

Looked like she had never been a sapling to begin with.

Leaning on some bricks arranged around like a walking frame,

She came with a note: “It is unknown why this pagoda tree has grown this way.

It is alive thanks to the horticultural support it’s been provided with”.

This is when I knew. Souls grow sideways too.

They need walking frames and regular watering.

And I am ready to be a horticulturist for a tender sapling of a soul,

If one entrusted me its earthly growth spurt.