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It seemed needlessly cruel

that I couldn’t coax even the hardiest,

homeliest, dullest of plants to grow

in the one west-facing window

of that place, with its air conditioner, sealed

with duct tape, that didn’t work,

and its mouse-hole, stuffed with steel

wool, that did. And an equally

needless kindness even more

unbearable, that unexpected flowering

inside the cheap circumference

of the pot while I was nearly

bedridden, of seeds borne on a broad wind

that flew in, and volunteered.

Geranium

Karen Solie

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translated from the Ukrainian written by
Natalka Bilotserkivets