Hear this poem

By Jody MacPherson, March, 2004, Unpublished

A lush green rubber tree
welcomes me.

First day in a tiny
windowless office
anonymous
in a tall gray tower.

I glance around furtively.
Is it allowed?

I caress freshly dusted foliage
push the upright planter
away from the doorway, hidden.

I 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.

Overnight, 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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