EJ wanted a banana tree for Christmas
so that early morning
brought a plastic bag,
a few meager roots
and no directions.

I bought some potting soil
and a square cedar box
EJ placed deliberately
by a westward window.

He gently splayed the roots,
pressed the soil,
and smiled and shrugged
with his calm and gentle
equanimity.

For years now
the tree has lived and died
in a cycle of births
and deaths
on meager rays
of a distant sun,
cups of water,
leftover Gatorade, cold tea
and the remaining milk
from bowls of Fruit Loops.

New England is not kind
or welcoming to anything
not from here, practicing
a stoic and mystic
indifference to all of us
transplanted bodisattva’s

who somehow persist
in spite of everything
and our tender shoots
harden into a pithy bark
and we manage to survive
on the mystery within.

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