She brought the plant home in the springtime

She was just looking for something green

That wouldn’t need much water

Wouldn’t need much sun

To brighten the bathroom window

He hung it for her from the ceiling

In a macrame basket she’d made

She was surprised by how quickly

It reached for the sun

All the leaves were turned the same day

She noticed the buds in late August

As she reached up to water the pot

There were so many of them

Such an odd shade of white

She thought about triffids and laughed

It was the middle of the night when the pods burst

They found him first; he slept nearer the door

By the time she was alerted

By the change in his breathing

They’d gotten to her, too. It was over.

The neighbors will find them in the morning

Her sisters will come the next day

Each will take home a plant

To remember her by

And to brighten a window, as well.

— Mary Zikos 

Mary Zikos, a Princeton resident, is stockroom manager for Princeton University’s molecular biology department.

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