Oh crap, the thing is practically dead:
stunted branches hollowed out
and hardly a brown leaf left.
I haven’t watered it in months,
not since November
when I shoved it onto the patio
between the rusty grill and the busted table,
and abandoned it,
tipped against the wrought iron rails
for winter to take a swing at,
do some real damage.
Then next spring, I’d drag it out
by the cuff of the pot,
wrap my hands around
its thin throated branches,
fling it in the dumpster, and listen
to the satisfying sound
of dry dirt hitting bottom.
But it’s too late.
I watch him through the kitchen window.
He holds a plastic pitcher brimmed with water.
His lower lip is pushed out,
eyebrows locked with worry,
as he administers small sips
onto the parched soil.
How tenderly he moves his hands
over the limp body,
his fingers feeling the bark,
a blind search for buds of growth.
And now, he pushes his face
right into the last of the blighted leaves,
and I know, I just know,
he’s murmuring something sweet.
Published in Fixed & Free Anthology, Lummox Press