Garden of Change
By Tatyanna Wills & Kate Marienthal
In heaven, two virtues think about what the future holds for them both.
In an empty garden Diligence sits and thinks The flowers bloom the birds sing, but to her that doesn’t change a thing It’s lonely but hopeful, beautiful but quiet And if some else in heaven cared to join her She definitely would not have minded it Things have changed since she was brought here And she wonders how things will change when she leaves Her heart may still desire to carry on, but she knows this is a role she cannot keep The sun starts to rise, and as the rays warm her face She quickly realizes that one day it won’t be her sitting in this place But who will it be? Could it be Chastity? No she’s far too young Could it be Humility? No she wouldn’t last in a world where everyone is so high-strung Or could it be another Diligence? A younger bright-eyed version of her She must stop thinking about this, her head was starting to hurt New to this place Chastity sits and thinks She wonders how she will live up to the expectations It is clear that Diligence has an icy hold on this world She sees it as her kingdom And while she wasn’t expecting a warm embrace She wonders if she’ll be willing to share her wisdom She feels the bed beneath her, it’s soft to the touch Slowly she stands and moves through the room As she explores she tries not to assume too much She feels the smooth surface of glossed wood And when she lifts her fingers they are coated with dust This space has been long uninhabited So she moves slowly as she knows she must As she wanders she wonders if she is the chosen one She digs deep into herself, and decides what must be done She will go and meet Diligence To prove her worth She will make it known That she could have a hand over earth Still Diligence marvels at this place And how dramatically it has improved She thinks back longingly on all of the lives she has moved And wonders what it will mean to begin to say goodbye To loosen her grip means allowing her companions to grasp on tighter Acknowledging the power she holds while letting it slip away from her Knowing that she will no longer be the only history writer She worries she will not be able to pardon her companions’ absence so far And doubts their ability to maintain what she has built But alas she tries focusing on what their strengths are And realizes that without her, heaven will not wilt As she ponders this decision, it is Chastity who comes to mind While she is young, she does seem to be kind And she is so concerned with minding her virtue She would need certainly to be nurtured Chastity moves into the hallway, which is warm as always Heaven was a paradise after all She hears the conversations of the others Even so she avoids their call For what is Chastity if not lonely What is the use of being a virtue If she doesn’t follow her role perfectly And what is she worth if she isn’t holy The garden is close now She senses it all completely As she approaches the door She starts to wonder, was the leader thing really meant to be? Out of all the virtues, would the one who ends up leading really be me? She moves her hand to knock, but hesitates No, she brushes her thoughts aside, this was most definitely the right time and place She reaches out, takes a deep breath and enters the room With a smile on her face Diligence looks up Chastity is finally here, a smile slowly spreads across her face Of course she was here This was the perfect time and place Her eyes gaze upon the blind girl She looks nervous, even afraid Therefore she invites the girl to sit with her And teaches her how to influence the world While Diligence should’ve been the one to make the first move She is happy that it is not something she needed to prove It is clear Chastity is brave, eager to learn and ready to pave her way After all Diligence no longer has the option of doing this alone And for the first time she feels ready to dive into the unknown
Tatyanna (mentee) began with the idea to write a story about the Seven Sins and Virtues. From there we spent several sessions brainstorming different character elements. We quickly realized that writing about all fourteen Sins and Virtues would be too much to tackle in one piece, so we settled on two of our favorite Virtues. We wanted to tackle their relationship with each other and the world around them with creative liberty, so we determined a narrative poem would be the best format. From there we went back and forth writing stanzas, melding and editing them together so that they worked as one voice.
Tatyanna Wills is a rising senior in high school. She has hobbies such as writing and singing.
Kate Marienthal is a Solutions Engineer. She studied International Relations at Tufts University, with a concentration in Security and Spanish. Previously she volunteered for Big Sisters of Boston, worked as a Communication Consultant at the Field Found of Chicago, and interned at Accion the US Network. Kate spends a lot of her free time writing and loves reading all things fiction.