By Jody MacPherson, March, 2004, Unpublished


A lush green rubber tree

welcomes me.

First day in a tiny

windowless office


in a tall gray tower.

I glance around furtively.

Is it allowed?

Caress freshly dusted foliage

push the upright planter

away from the doorway, hidden.

Bring a watering can from home,

lock the door at 5 o’clock.

By day, my tree stands beside me

exhales glorious oxygen, soaks up

my deadly carbon dioxide.

An ecosystem all our own.

Under my tutelage, the rubber tree

grows taller until

clipboard appears, brow furrowed

as measuring tape extends.

A crowd gathers to see manager-sized plant

in junior-sized office.


my planted partner is gone.

Two wilted leaves lie weeping on the floor.

I stumble to the coffee room.

Notice the new dress code posted on the wall.

Tomorrow I won’t wear nylons.


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