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Archive: Contents of American Haibun & Haiga Volume 1

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Cathy Drinkwater Better


There was an amaryllis on the window sill of my new office when I moved in. When I inherited the title and the office space, the plant, left behind in a career move, came along as well.

I'm not much of a houseplant-person, but I feel a basic responsibility and coerced affection for this ugly amaryllis; much as I would for a runt of a kitten left on my doorstep, even though I'm not a cat-person.

The amaryllis has never bloomed. Green and supple, its four long, slender leaves sprawl outward to either side, out of proportion to the white plastic pot. The plant appears to be in a state of suspended animation: it doesn't grow, but it doesn't die. The sun touches it only through glass; the only breeze comes from the air conditioning vent. I know how it feels.

the amaryllis
on the water-stained sill


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