a thursday poem

Peace Lily

This morning before I left
I saw pleats of your leafy
skirt hanging low, spine bent
as if taking a bow before
the last of the summer sun.

Was it only four months ago
when I picked you out in a
nursery brimming with hope?
Someone told me you are
easy to grow, he must have
known I'm no green thumb
starting small with you.

Now I look at your yellowed
edges and know its only a
matter of time. The wind
beating impatiently on
the windowpane tells me
none of this is my fault
that I had you blooming for
a season should be enough.

And yet, why do I still feel
like I committed a crime?

* * *
Check out more Thursday poems over at
jillypoet who's hosting this week's Traveling Poetry Show.


  1. This is an approporiate September mourning.

    So much guilt over lost life--there is a lot of humanity in this piece. Something like this can become such a parable or stand-on for many things. Ah, poetry.

  2. hi deb,

    i'm usually not this moved but for some reason the peace lily felt like my quiet friend over the summer and i'd hate for it to die :(

  3. I agree with deb ... this could be a parable for many things ... I especially liked ...

    I saw pleats of your leafy
    skirt hanging low, spine bent
    as if taking a bow before
    the last of the summer sun ...

    such beautiful imagery

  4. hi fenny,
    i'm glad you enjoyed the poem. thanks a lot for dropping by! :)

  5. Lovely poem - I know what you mean. I always feel this way at the end of the summer when I look at the plants that started out so young and green. My tomato plants have yellow leaves, my Impatiens are getting leggy and the leaves are spotted. Autumn is coming.

  6. Hi Odessa! Really beautiful poem -- I love your description of the "pleats of your leafy/ skirt hanging low". And I can totally relate to that feeling of having committed a crime when a plant I am trying to nurture along makes a turn for the worse. I always feel sad when that happens. But I love how you say "that I had you blooming for/ a season should be enough" -- this is really cool!! The word 'enough' is very powerful -- it's our tendency to think something should be more, bigger, better, etc. But enough has an incredible beauty in it, too! Really nice, Odessa!

  7. Beautiful and sad and although I know that the blooming for one season on some level is enough I also know that yes it does feel like a crime.

  8. hi mauigirl! i guess growing up in the philippines i'm just not used to the changing seasons and plants dying. but i'm looking forward to the colors of fall though.

    hi clare, i know it should be enough. and you're right about our tendency to want more, bigger, etc, just have to learn to let go.

    hi juliet, thank you for your kind words. now that i've thought about it, this small plant is one of those that stayed with me for the longest time. and i'm thankful for that.