mother-green

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i’m watering my

neighbor’s plants

while she’s away;

 

she has plants of every

variety in every room –

even the bath-room,

 

and it’s like a game of

hide-and-seek

to find them all.

 

interspersed throughout

are a few artificial plants that

look persuasively real,

 

and i find myself

watering these too,

for good measure.

 

it’s a quiet process that takes

time, slowly pouring into each

pot from the crystal pitcher;

 

waiting for the water

to pool at the base,

saying: enough.

 

every plant differs in

size, texture, phase;

it requires paying attention

 

to not over- or under-water.

i don’t know their names,

but it turns out i am able

 

to give them what they need.

it turns out they give back ten-fold.

i move a few that aren’t

 

faring as well closer to the

light: but mostly they

just miss their mother.

 

i look around at all of the trinkets,

treasures, and talismans and think:

this woman has a full life.

 

the apartment is small but filled

to the brim with art, books, music, colors,

photographs, flowers, travels.

 

if i live in a place like this

when i am 70, surrounded

by vast memories, and things

 

that i love, and wistful plants

that miss me when i’m gone,

i will be a happy woman.

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