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Dormancy in Vicinity of Death
By: Miriam A. Donis
Having come to visit, things seemed to be like they always had been, yet something ominous sits in the air. It is a relatively early morning, but all sense of time has slipped away, for even a sleepy head will not find the sun today as they wake, for the wind blows, and the clouds in the skies continue to reign. Around, nothing but a soul or two walk by in this gloomy and rainy day.
Fall had come a little late this year, and winter came with a crazy storm. How exhausted you must be! For enduring that freeze, you cannot be blamed for being selfish and sleeping through my stay. Still in this visit, I could not help but admire you from afar, take your portrait, and get close where I can. But your leaves have never been crunchier and your branches had never snapped so easily, especially after being stumbled upon.
In this state, at this sight, it is hard not to wonder if the storm had come and gone and taken you with it. It's been a while since any adult had imagined that a barren shrub and a browned tree have done anything but wither, yet this young adult has reverted to having a child-like dismay, as the gardens further down are almost entirely painted in the most beautiful and perfect warm grays.
Moving past the inspiring essay "Spatial Stories" by Michel de Certeau, I have written a short narrative poem that both encompasses the story of the visit to the Mercer Botanical Gardens and mirrors a personal experience that took place at the sudden death of my grandparent, and coincided with the impromptu freeze came to Texas in 2021.
So calm and at ease
Still concerning, to say the least
At first sight
You've fallen asleep
Hold the gaze
All still still
Could I shake you from deep slumber?
Have you drifted to a permanent sleep?
So calm and at ease
All is cold
No birds chirp
No blowing breeze
Is this the calm after the storm?
Or has it moved into my bones?
Dormant you appear
Into deep slumber, you went
Dormant you'll remain
“Plants can be affected by stray voltage and they may show stunted growth, deformed growth, or go dormant. In extreme cases they may die.”
— Steven Magee, Electrical Forensics
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