Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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What You Sow

The orchid died
from long absence,
but the avocado you planted
from seed, mere stalk, bereft
of leaves when we left,
blossomed like a memory
of the avocado tree you grew
a decade ago. You started it
with toothpicks in a tumbler
of tap water, waited for its
spidery roots, plunged
your calloused hands into clean
soil, planted and replanted
as it grew and grew,
its canopy of green
scraping the ceiling,
until finally it could grow
no more, and it grew
root-bound, slowly
withered and died. I will try
to keep this fledgling
echo of the past alive, this thing
that grew in neglect,
I will try not to kill
with love. Each time
I water it, I think of your hands
making a hollow
for the seed, your hope
that the past could be undone
in the future. I envy this
tenacious plant because it knows
nothing of sorrow,
how it unpetals a person,
brutal, like scissors, but slower,
like how the O in widow
unfurls into moan  . . .  end  

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