Poetry: Phipps Conservatory



(Photo by Thomas Yang | Visual Editor)

By Maggie Koontz | Columnist

My lover is like a cactus. His prickly spines deter others. He lives in the dry desert room, surrounded by sand, under the hot sun. I wish I could visit him, but I am planted in a different room. I am a daisy in a garden, held captive in a conservatory, in humid tasteless air, surrounded by other flowers. The petals of the other flowers are pretty. Lovely lilac, pastel pink, rich red and I am white. My lover sends birds to talk to me through the glass windows. He tells me he is tall and can cast a long shadow during the day. My lover says his spines are long, he is the greenest, he can store the most water. He can provide for me. I say I am delicate and I need the protection he offers. I don’t want to be with the flowers anymore. They exclude me — say I am not pretty, say I am not a flower, say I am colorless. One day, I extract my roots and tiptoe to the desert room. The doors slide open. It is hot, it is bright. I squint my eyes against the glare. Standing tall in the middle of the room is my lover. He is more handsome than I thought. I trudge slowly through the sand, leaving lines, until I reach him. I am hot, I am losing water, I am tired. He cannot move, I cannot see his face, but he says sweet things and I stand next to him in his shadow. We never touch, his spines are sharp, but I am content to be near him, not too close. The night is cool, but by noon, I have wilted. My lover remains.

Maggie primarily writes creative nonfiction and about student life for The Pitt News. Write to her at [email protected].

The Pitt News is looking for students interested in creative writing, including creative nonfiction, poetry and short stories to write for the Opinions section. If interested, please contact [email protected].