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Office Cactus

How long will I wait

For the cactus.


Because I made the mistake

Within the mistake of

Waiting too long.

“It looks pretty dead,” Dad says when I put it in my window.

And I know he’s right.

But, at least its in real sunlight now.

Before it only soaked in fluorescent beams.

Maybe, that makes a difference.

Going back to basic ingredients

Like sun.

Like water.

How long. Should I wait

For the rain?


Because it’s really the water that waits

To drain,

Or, maybe be drawn back up

By the cactus.

“I think it’s still alive,” there’s a question in my statement.


“There’s some green. It’s bigger. One piece. It’s thicker.”

“Did you water it?”


“When was the last time?”


“Don’t water it anymore.”

I won’t admit to the prodding and testing and watering often.

“But, I wanted to give it a head start.”

“Set it outside. The next time it rains, that’ll be enough.”

How long can I wait

For old, or new.


Because I turn the clay bird planter

For the underside of brown

Within the white

Black beneath green.

Even as I type, I’m trying to fix things too fast.

It means I make more mistakes within the mistakes.

I relive the first trip to the office,

For the first time in five months.

Scratch. I carry the cactus and loose leaf sheets home.

Paper thin tendrils, blank paper.

How long will I wait

For the cactus.


I stare at a computer screen.


I examine the cactus leaves.

All the blankness in the smoothness.

It should be bumpy, full, prickly even.

But, nothing’s close enough to touch.

I’m safe. Protected. Restricted in what I can give.

I wanted to find the cactus alive,

After all the time I worried about its life.

It was given to me for its resilience.

I wonder if the rotting is death,

Or, simply letting go.

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