Happy Birthday, Spider Plant

My spider plant is immortal.
She’s been underwatered, drowned, tipped and chewed.
She watched my baby brother learn to walk,
Woodie’s whiskery grey, and bone cancer overtake her equine body.

She sat on that formica counter when my first tooth fell out
and blood pittered over the tile floor.
She reached her fingers around rotting bamboo stalks — 
a farewell embrace.

My spider plant moved to Tennessee
and sat without judgment in my halfmoon window.
She said nothing when I crept out that very window each night
or when I buried myself in blankets to block out the light.

She just sat, reaching, adoring her own perfect shade of green.

At times, her fingertips browned and shriveled and her soil crumbled.
In other seasons, she burst with youthful, leafy spiderlings — spawn!
Eager leggy sprouts tickled the pot.

Spider plant is the wrong name for my immortal perennial.
In all her newness, she remains
the same tuberous roots that I touched with tiny fingers,
eyes illiterate, but full of love.

Photo by Elly Endeavours on Unsplash

Madeleine Voge

Madeleine is part houseplant. She thrives in direct sunlight with a window view and infrequent waterings. If you cut off her limbs and replant them, more Madeleines will grow.