of plants as companions: they don't
argue, they don't ask for much,
they don't stay out until 3:00 A.M., then
lie to you about where they've been....
I can't summon the ambition
to repot this grape ivy, of this sad
old cactus, or even to move them out
onto the porch for the summer,
where their lives would certainly
improve. I give them
a grudging dash of water – that's all
they get. I wonder if they suspect
all hours of the day and night,
considering the town dump
and compost pile as possible graves....
The truth is that if I permit them
to live, they will go on giving
alms to the poor: sweet air, miraculous
flowers, the example of persistence.