Survivor

Day Twenty-Six of Thirty Days of Writing

Photo by Biegun Wschodni on Unsplash

Dead leaves gather themselves into a blanket
tucked up against the edge of the house,
covering the bulbs of failed tulips
and the flowers that bloomed into small blue stars
for a week. I can blame those deaths on Nature:
the thunderstorm that flooded the flowerbed
and carried soil onto the patio;
the rabbits that chewed on the blue stars
with one ear turned, listening for the jingle
of the dog’s collar.

They are not the plants that I’ve killed,
like the hanging plant in the bathroom,
its brown leaves drooping into the tub,
or the basil plant that outgrew its pot,
or the succulents that I overwatered
and placed in weak sunlight.

I try to remember why the leaves
weren’t gathered into brown paper bags
last fall and placed curbside, 
leaning towards each other
like conferring monks.

I stoop to collect a few leaves. They crumble
in my hands, leaving the smell 
of melted snow and waking soil behind.

I brush them away from the house
only to find a green shoot
bursting from a forgotten bulb.


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