52   La maceta

— Esteban Rodríguez

When words no longer settled

an argument, your mother began

throwing objects at your father,

hand towels at first, then spoons

and spatulas, then the remote control,

until she arrived at the flowerpots,

the ones she had every intention

to use, but which, over the years,

as plant after plant died, she let fill

with spiderwebs, dust, with an extended

metaphor for her life—promising

but empty, intact but chipped,

nothing more than what could have been,

and what your mother figured,

in her attempt to make her point stick,

would show your father that he too

was to blame for this, that if he hadn’t

been so silent, distant, had clocked in

when it was time to be a husband,

she wouldn’t be throwing a maceta

at him, but instead be watered with care,

attention, with that touch that makes

even the most withered things bloom.

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