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My friend gave me

a fuschia plant, expecting

much of me, in cold April

judgment not to leave it

overnight in nature, deep

pink in its plastic

basket – I have

killed my gift, exposed

flowers in a mass of leaves,

mistaking it

for part of nature with

its many stems: what

do I do with you now,

former living thing

that last night still

resembled my friend, abundant

leaves like her fluffy hair

although the leaves had

a reddish cast: I see her

climbing the stone steps in spring dusk

holding the quivering

present in her hands, with

Eric and Daphne following

close behind, each

bearing a towel of lettuce leaves;

so much, so much to celebrate

tonight, as though she were saying

here is the world, that should be

enough to make you happy.

**For all the friends who have given me plants, some having better endings than others**

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