local_library All My Plants Are Dead

by Jessie Ehman

Published in Issue No. 264 ~ May, 2019

Forgive me for killing

the houseplants again.


I have a penchant for stifling beauty

before it bursts forth—

loud and green as spring.

I once followed a man

from the train station

for whole city blocks—

in the freezing rain—

before realizing

that he was just another man

in another city

who didn’t look like you at all.


Is there a way to repent

for the things we haven’t yet done?

The crimes we haven’t committed?

How I would follow you—

as Persephone followed Hades

into the Underworld—

if only you would let me.


Queen of the Dead,

girl of two worlds,

I often find myself in graveyards.

Not to mourn the buried,

but to grieve for the living.


I bring them my dead flowers

as if that would make a difference.

And, like Demeter, mother to all,

savior to none, we sit and wait

for the release of a goddess,

and the return of spring.

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My name is Jessie Ehman, I am 26 years old, and live in Puyallup, Washington with a room full of books and my three flat-faced cats. I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Poetry and Creative Writing (minors in Art History and Printing and Publishing Arts) from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington (class of 2014). I am passionate about my home state, nap-taking, and writing poems about love, loss, and bears.