From Redirection, 2017.
(This poem is written because of, about, and for my friend John G, who loves plants and art and sharing them.)
The Way Green Growing Things Do Thrive Generous
You live alone in the
tall thin house built almost on the sidewalk.
You set out one pot of pansies.
It was early spring. You liked the look of it
perched up at the side of the concrete steps
from the street. You added another. When it got warmer
you found a stack of empty pots
in the basement. You filled them with soil
and yellow flowers
you got for a dollar because they were
almost dead but now
You brought the houseplants
to join in
fresh air children
bewildered by the luxuriant light
and water showering from the sky but
they soon took hold
surpassed cramped ambitions
bushed out and overflowed their pots.
Someone passing on the road
– the green growing things
by now lining both sides of the steps
set up comfortable and greeting each day
with the interest neighbors take
in street happenings –
this person left you a couple pots of anonymous
that to this day have not revealed a thing about themselves
except that they like your front steps
After a rain it is hard to squeeze through the crowd:
branches bowed down by the collected drops
wet your legs to the knees.
I see you
sitting on the upper set of steps
surrounded by flowers and fireflies
You say you live alone
I don’t think you do.