By Caroline Ho, Assistant Editor


I have this tendency, as such

to ruin everything I touch

to damage all that I hold dear

the fool who dares to stand too near


I bury fingers in the dirt

where I pretend that nothing hurts

where hints of green poke through the soil—

one new life I’ve yet to spoil


I’ve planted it, this tiny seed

so I can grow it, tend its needs

so what if I forget to water

(truth is it’s so hard to bother)


I take this task upon myself

let this plant live, if nothing else

let me believe I’m something more

this plant can be my metaphor


I tell myself that I can change

that I will learn to rearrange

that tendency toward self-hate

but that’s all I can cultivate


I want to nurture, care for, tend

to more than just this withered end

to let this living being grow

but I don’t have it in me, no


I pray someday I’ll learn to love

just shed these roots and rise above

just wait, one day, we’ll blossom free—

but until then, I’ll just be me.