Louise Gluck




Parable of the Gift

My friend gave me
a fuchsia plant, expecting
much of me, in cold April
judgment not to leave it
overnight in nature, deep
pink in its plastic
basket—I have
killed my gift, exposed
flowers in a mass of leaves,
mistaking it
for part of nature with
its many stems: what
do I do with you now,
former living thing
that last night still
resembled my friend, abundant
leaves like her fluffy hair
although the leaves had
a reddish cast: I see her
climbing the stone steps in spring dusk
holding the quivering
present in her hands, with
Eric and Daphne following
close behind, each
bearing a towel of lettuce leaves:
so much, so much to celebrate
tonight, as though she were saying
here is the world, that should be
enough to make you happy.