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.
Notes on the PoemLet's not talk about this one too much. Let's just savour this poem's surprising and moving effects. In "Geranium", Karen Solie moves from a dull, down at the heels, depressed and depressing scene ... and without even shifting her gaze too far, manages to literally and figuratively bring a gust of fresh air to it and transform it. The poem's subtle but potent, heart clutching tour de force of an ending offers hope that we will all receive the "needed kindness" we desire, often where and when we least expect it.