Poetry / March 2012 (Issue 16)

Two Poems

by Leanne Dunic

Rishte Bante Hain (Relationships Grow Slowly)

Summer: We stayed up until dawn, arms tangled in each other.

Summer: We started seedlings in planters, but soon needed to repot. We had a Japanese maple, black bamboo, succulents, and corkscrew rush.

Summer: We overturned soil, hardened plants. Row by row, we grew strengths. Peonies exploded salmon-coloured petals. The smoke bush became a tree. An acorn became an oak. Then there were the frogs, and fish, and rabbits, and dogs.  We grew too much, too fast. We thought we could grow anything: yuzu, wolfberries, calamansi limes.    

Summer: Humid. We grew in different hemispheres.

Summer: Weeds grew - ones pretty enough to be flowers. We planted fennel, got licorice florets. We cut back vines. Aphids threatened the citrus and animals tore the wolfberry to roots. Still, we were lucky.  Jasmine flowers endured limes, and the wolfberry returned. We grew healthy. We transplanted and pruned, weeded and enriched.

We grew wise. We grew grass, we grew mint.  Jade plants exploded padded leaves.  We repotted.  Rethought.  Reworked. We grew understanding.  We grew admiration.  Our roots entwined and our limbs were sturdy.

Summer: Plants go to flower and we collect the seeds.  At night, we press together and slip into dreams about the things we will grow.


First, there were them, and them, and them.  And then more.  Then they mixed faces.  Sepia, camel, chestnut, and caramel.  A pocket here, a group there.  Whole communities disappeared.

And now there is me.  I will draw you some maps.
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