The plant etched on the wall sits in its pot
as calm as anything—
as any thing not
human. The cars sough by, less frequent than at day.
If I switched off the light
again, I’d see again how they
trace ghostlike, restless lights across the walls,
emblems of human hunger.
The old wood mantle-clock calls
someone, me, to task—more briskly than a heart.
The shadow clearly forms a parrot, perched
on the edge of the pot,
its head turned to the right—above it, on one side,
a stem with paired leaves stretching out like arms,
and on the other side
a single leaf shaped like a heart.
Perfectly composed and colorless,
it mocks what it is not.
The errorless bird is absolutely still,
having no need to stir or speak at all,
not being in need of a mate, or hungry, or real.
—Jeredith Merrin, “The Shadow Plant”
Art Credit Carol Crawford