In 2003, your dear friend presented you
with an African violet to celebrate
your promotion, decorating a new office.
Her mother had cuttings of an older violet,
ready to be divided.
You were smitten by this potted plant,
clusters of tiny purple flowers,
nestled inside tangled leaves of green velvet,
fuzzy feeling, with ridges and veins,
stems were supple and fibrous.

After retirement, the violet came home with you,
to live by a window, lifting towards sunlight,
You took pleasure in keeping it moist,
knowing it loved to be bathed and fed.
Years passed, it grew so full,
you began taking cuttings,
nursing along new offspring,
soon sprouting deep purple flowers,
you gave them away to friends,
paying it forward.

Lois Perch Villemaire resides in Annapolis, MD. Her stories, memoir flash, and poetry have been published in such places as Potato Soup Journal, Six Sentences, Trouvaille Review, FewerThan500, The Drabble, Pen In Hand, North of Oxford, Flash Frontier, Flora Fiction and several anthologies published by Truth Serum Press.