Column

Paint to Poetry: The Succulent

4 June 2019

You said
water once a week and
keep in direct sunlight but,
I’m already
trying to do this.

I haven’t thought about life
for so long, that dirt beds itself
in my nails, behind my ears
where I tuck vines back
and once heard the fizz
of lime hitting tonic
in drinks with friends.
The delight of a child
picking their first apple from
the tree that almost grew
before lorikeets landed.

The succulent was dying
so I moved it from the window
where it watched the world
where we were left
shrinking.

I only ever feel moss,
clumped in cried-out-corners
darkness, tears
begging me to grow.

You tell me to be the gumleaf glow
light hitting through the leaves
illuminate the spine.
Sun lets the succulent survive,
It should work for me.

Flourish
withstand the world
before weeds tangle my lungs
holding vines, sucking bones
waiting for spores to carry hope.
You whisper a chance
of sunlight strength.


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