Assassin Gardener

I tend to kill things early
The few plants I've known
Wilted away to an early grave

            The azaleas
            Love-Red and beautiful
            Brought to my first house - my own
            A gift upon leaving

Necessities - a clay pot
To plant it new
Earth from compost

Days later - dead
Compost infected with bacteria

Left with a clay pot and this:

            Your first gift
            And your last

                                    First    Cactus
                                                Azalea-red bulb
                                                Frozen by my mother's
                                                Kitchen window

                                    Last    After it was dead
                                                Watering can empty
                                                You gave me another
                                                Cactus-same

I knew it would not
survive me
So with a friend it thrives
perhaps

Raw red azalea heart with cactus prickles looks for a new pot to plant herself in
Afraid of earth (infection)
Afraid of clay (locked)
Not quite sure the hands that hold it

These hands

Not quite sure these hands of mine
If left to their own devices
Will not betray her to an early grave

 
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