Before my father died
I bought a pot with a small plant,
a fragile sapling with pale green dotted leaves.
He came to my place to see me,
bringing a big slice of watermelon
with jagged dark green stripes on its rind.
He placed it in the fridge and looked at me,
asking with stern eyes: “Do you forgive me?”
I didn’t understand his words
and I answered “Yes” with all my heart,
stabbed by his stare that moment.
He died a few days later,
after calling me on the phone,
saying that I should move into another house.
I did that, taking with me from that place
my small green plant beginning to rise.
I placed it on my desktop, letting it grow...
leaf after leaf from her thin stem,
like a stairway hardly mounted.
Eight years passed and she’s my only child,
my only friend, my only lover.
She grew steadily and very slowly,
I changed her compost a few times.
She’s still here, my small calico, greeny treasure.
And two years ago I became a proud grandmother
for three new shoots, stemming at her feet.
I had to tie it to a plastic stick
to help it grow upwards.
And when I look at it I still can see
my father’s eyes, taking hold of my heart.