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Pot Bound

by Rhyana Fisher

Light bursts into cool darkness
"I forgot I even had this left."
Busy hands reach down
Lifting a plain plastic pot, white
Emphasizing the paleness of a sickly, green shoot
Struggling to grow, already a handspan tall
With a phosphorescent glow

A second voice, doubtful
"Do you really think it'll bloom?
It looks half dead
."
The shriller voice replies
"A little sun should put it to rights
It didn't bloom last year, maybe this time it will.
If it doesn't, I can always throw it out later.
It was only a gift from my mother,
She'll buy another this year anyways
."

She sets it behind a couch blocking a large bay window
With smudged sliding glass doors
Protected from rambunctious children
Who are are not allowed to enter or exit there
And it grows tall and narrow
Occasionally watered...when they remember
Alone with only sun and shadow
The stem grows longer, a small bud forms
More time passes and a perfect, scarlet flower unfolds
One moment of triumph

Until the day hushed, giggling children rush in
"Ready or not, here I come!"
A mad scramble, one slips behind the couch
A not so loud thud as a small foot kicks the pot
A slightly louder one as it tips and hits the floor
She pushes the couch away and stares with dismay
As the eldest one enters
"Found you, Katie!!" voice filled with glee
Until she too realizes there is a problem
And hurries over to peer behind the couch.
"Ma is going to kill us when she gets home" she wails
Then slides past to set the pot upright again
The two of them try to straighten
Crushed petals, bent stem and broken leaves
While the youngest stands on the couch
Peering over the back at the mess
"Maybe we could tape it?" her hopeful suggestion

Scornful silence meets her remark
Broken when the eldest orders
"Katie, you dump it in the field, I'll vacumn.
If we're lucky, Ma won't even notice it's gone
."
They scoop most of the soil back into the pot
Katie leaves as the vacumn begins its noisy song
Pot cradled in her arms, slipping thru gaps in the tall corn
Until she comes to a small clearing between several rows
Far enough, she dumps the pot over and pauses
"I'm sorry" she whispers to the exposed bulb
As it lies there bleeding crimson petals
"It was an accident"
She disappears back the way she came
Carrying the empty pot to be carefully hidden
In black bag full of garbage

In the clearing, days pass
As the bulb withers
The flower soon shrivels up
The leaves turn brown
In time there is no clue
To the potential that was

06/12/2005

Author's Note: Long ago written.

Posted on 06/12/2005
Copyright © 2020 Rhyana Fisher

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michelle Angelini on 06/12/05 at 08:06 AM

Such a sad ending. Suggestion - tie the flower's potential to the children's potential. Maybe don't kill the plant, but allow it to grow again. Take or leave as you will. I enjoyed reading it.
~Chelle~

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