Pandemic Plants and Disco Balls
Sometimes I worry that no one knows anything
about me, and then, right on the bend of my spiral,
I remember that at least five of my friends
have sent me links to the same disco ball planter.
If nothing else, at least my brand is strong.
Every sun-touched spot in my apartment glitters
with plants, and what I mean by that is I have spent
this season of loss with my eyes on growth. It started
with a snake plant and a fiddle leaf fig on my first
frantic pandemic grocery run. My friends bet against
the third plant immediately and they were correct.
Now, my favorite afternoons are the ones where I’m caught
off guard by a spray of light against my wall. It polka dots
my plants and draws my eye toward the window.
I don’t have anything new to say about plants
but I want them anyway, and maybe that’s the point.
Maybe all I need to do is notice that the snake plant
is still standing. Maybe today, it’s okay to rest
on a simple fact and pick up the dropped leaves later.
Anxiety as the Plant Dying on My Window Sill
I know you don’t want to think
about me but I’ve been waiting
to be watered for so long, for the love
of god, just keep me alive. You know
I breathe the oxygen that keeps you
moving forward, that without me,
this is just empty space. I’ve watched
you neglect so many others who looked
like me, sat on this same ledge, waiting
for their moment in the sun. Sometimes
I just want you to look at me instead
of the cracked parking lot below me
and the post-it littered living room
behind me. You keep me in the background
of your zoom calls, you place me strategically
in your instagram posts, my leaves always
quietly reaching, hoping someone will notice.
You can’t see the light without looking
through me first. Why do you only care
for me when it feels like I’m dying?
Tristan, you know you’re not really
writing to a plant. Don’t you understand
that it will always feel like we are dying
together until you give me a name?
I’m not going anywhere. You’ve sat
with me long enough to know that
by now. The winter has been so long and
I just want to help you learn to breathe.
Tristan Richards (she/her) is a poet and student affairs professional from Minnesota. She is the author of two self-published chapbooks: Not All Challenges Are For Us (2022) and The Year Was Done Right (2019). Her poems are forthcoming or have been published in ALOCASIA, Writers Resist, trampset, Preposition: The Undercurrent Anthology, on the Mankato Poetry Walk & Ride, and in Firethorne. She facilitates Unfold: 30 Days of Writing in Community (a daily Zoom poetry writing workshop throughout April for National Poetry Writing Month) and other writing workshops. Tristan holds an MA in Leadership in Student Affairs from the University of St. Thomas and a BA in Communication Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College. You can find her on Instagram at @tristanwritespoems or at tristanwritespoems.weebly.com