Inferno

 

The plant on my desk has died.
A maidenhair fern, its bright, tender leaves
Have shrivelled and curled. I tried
To keep it alive, but no one believes
That I watered it (now and then)
And cared for it. No, they just sigh and assume
I’ve been slack and remiss. (Again.)
But now I’m beginning to think it’s the room.

The half-truths, occasional lie
And twisting of words it’s exposed to in here
Are enough to make any plant cry
Till its soil is dust. In this charged atmosphere
Of equivocation and doubt
What living thing would feel contented and grow?
Could be it’s just pointing out
A deeper malaise, something I ought to know

Before it’s too late. Maybe
Like the coalmine canary, its end is a sign
Of dangers that I can’t see –
Exposed to the screen glare, forever online.
But is the computer to blame?
Or is selling my soul by the hour the cause?
All I know is that I feel the same
But the remedy’s simple. Transplant me outdoors.