No Need


A pothos left for dead by some neighbor
     in its half-shell of plastic, adorning
          the corner of our tenement’s dumpster--

leggy and forlorn, though its waxy leaves
     rose in a heap, shoulder upon shoulder,
          mounting into a fountain of jade.

There’s no need for a houseplant, as these neighbors
     would attest, no need to decorate
          a narrow kitchen with this living thing,

a daub of color on a window sill
     against the endless recitation
          of fire escape and brick beyond,

and no need to wait until the shadows grew
     to a dusk that swept away what little shame
          a city might nurture--one man’s trash

is another’s treasure--but still I delayed
     before hurrying it away, an act
          that seemed more akin to larceny than grace.


KEVIN CASEY is the author of Ways to Make a Halo (Aldrich Press, 2018) and American Lotus, winner of the 2017 Kithara Prize (Glass Lyre Press, 2018). And Waking... was published by Bottom Dog Press in 2016. His poems have appeared in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Connotation Press, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser's syndicated column ‘American Life in Poetry.’

More from Casey: andwaking.com