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It Was A Surprise To Me

By John I. Blair

It was a surprise to me,
A tiny leaf springing
Suddenly from the barren soil
Beside a ragged sanseviera.

I had not planted it;
I barely was responsible
For the snake plant,
Which was so badly chewed
By my black cat Iíd brought it
To the office to die in dignity.

But the snake plant had survived;
And now this new leaf,
An unexpected bonus.

I thought I recognized it,
A common weed, cloverlike,
That might develop yellow flowers
If ever it saw sunlight.

First one leaf, then two, then four,
Then a score. In a few weeks
Beneath fluorescent lighting,
It spread to fill the pot,
Sprawling across the sandy earth,
Enveloping the snake plant
In a verdant cloud.

Even here, a sterile office,
Even in dirt thatís desert-sourced,
Life can prevail against death.
And yet itís always a surprise,
Death had seemed so powerful.

©2003 John I. Blair


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