Perennial

At the dawn of the decade
I was alone in the fishbowl
and writing or waiting for someone
to remind me what I was here for.
Of course, they never came
and the empty page reminded me
the future was coming
and I am not who I was before:
a year in fasting,
a year in feasting,
and a year of sullen retreat;
in the end I was wrapped in black,
tagged, and turned loose.

I sought to bind myself to a stake once more,
limit my radius,
and to pull me hard upright
before I grew back into the earth that bore me.
But outgrowing all these spaces
means that soon I will be loose again
left to root and cling to whatever my hands can reach.
And my father wanted me to have sprawling branches
and my mother taught me to take care,
but if I cannot last the winter
who knows if spring will ever come again?

The palm trees bred the cold right out of me
and the lakes forgot my thirst.
Salt water will not slake my parched body
the way it once did
and if I cannot find a river to return me to my soil,
I may never come home again.

Awake on a new morning,
I beg my body to remember kindness,
sunlight, and sound.
If she can hold herself erect,
she might make it to tomorrow
and water the world around her
until her sown seeds flower
as she had hoped they might.
If she can,
I can believe the next decade
will be as sweet as the first
and the next
and the last.

By Tamara Grasty.

Tamara is an Emerson College publishing student in the middle of several concurrent existential crises.

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