Fall 2017, Volume 23

Poetry by Lauren Coggins

My Grandmother’s Philodendron

I don’t know why I took it home
after she died. Other things

I could use: a salad spinner,
a dinette set. Towels.

I did not need a houseplant
in a decorative bowl

with an Eastern motif.
But it sat, static, on the table

through years of small talk,
of those halting moments

when we’d invite her out
and she’d demur,

preferring the chase
to the being had.

I’d so often stared at those leaves,
their open palms like small excuses –

as though a plant could shrug.
Even the philodendron knew

it wanted mostly
to be left alone.

That too much water would yellow
those leaves, and direct sunlight

would only burn them.
That it could thrive for years

with little fuss, in just
a small bowl.




BIO: Lauren Coggins lives in SC and works in the insurance industry. Her poems have appeared previously in Reed Magazine and in Southern Poetry Review, and online at South Florida Poetry Journal, and Charlotte Viewpoint.