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I know this is going to sound like a sad metaphor

But it’s not a metaphor, it’s just sad


I just moved a plant from the windowsill

To water it

To help it grow

It needs so much more attention

Than my cactus


A tiny little cactus

Which I grew from a seed

Which was a stocking stuffer from my mom

Probably from The Dollar Store


She probably didn’t care whether it grew

Whether I even planted the seeds

She probably just wanted me to be happy

In the moment


But I planted the seeds

In a small cup

Not suitable for plants

And the cactus sprouted

In December

Against all odds

Because that’s what they do


The cactus kept growing

Even though sometimes I didn’t water it

For months on end

Even though the sunlight only visited that windowsill

A few hours a day


It grew skinny and lopsided

And I never moved it

To a larger cup

Or a bowl

Or a real planter


And still it kept growing

Next to the basil and mint

And the money plant


Today I watered the other plants

And returned them to the sill

And the greedy money plant

Broke off the cactus limb


I just blamed the plant

But I did it

It was an accident

But I did it


I didn’t even notice

Until minutes later

When I looked out the window

For inspiration


And saw instead

My carelessness


I buried the broken cactus finger

Back into the soil

In hopes that it can regrow roots

And survive


I hope the base

Where the limb snapped off

Can heal itself

And keep growing


In spite of me

And my carelessness

And inattention


Because my mom gave me those seeds

And now she’s gone

And it’s just a cactus I barely cared about

But now I care


I hope it’s not too late

To show it I care

Kelaine Conochan

The editor-in-chief of this magazine, who should, in all honesty, be a gym teacher. Don’t sleep on your plucky kid sister.

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