General Fiction posted June 1, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Dying plant contest entry

Rosemary for remembrance.

by Sanku

Dying Houseplant Contest Winner 

"I don't want to be alone." Mathew confessed to the plant.

"Last three years you stayed with me. So now what is your problem? You survived in this climate, though it was tough for you. I looked after you exactly the way she did. Is it difficult for you to bloom? Never mind. I won't be disappointed. I looked up Wikipedia and it said you were a perennial plant. It said you were sturdy too."

He lapsed into silence. He was thinking of the day his wife brought this plant, tiny and in a small pot. His wife had never shown any interest in gardening or keeping any indoor plants. So it had surprised him and he had asked, "You are planning to start an indoor garden?"

She had laughed. "Rosemary for remembrance," she had said. He had gaped wondering why she was quoting Hamlet. "This plant is rosemary. My name. It signifies remembrance". Mrs Razia gave this to me. It is difficult for her to survive in our climate, but you will won't you dear?" She had asked the little plant.

"She had tended you very carefully and shown me how to do it. Do you think she knew she would go soon? How could she have? She was younger than me and healthier too."

Mathew fell silent again. They had talked for a long time that night. Some remark a neighbour made, had triggered memories of their honey moon. Then they had spoken about their children. "You were a terrific father while they were growing up. The boys look up to you even now." And he had hugged her and said, "That was because you were always holding my hand".

Only he had woken up the next day. She had gone on sleeping, the eternal sleep.
Mathew felt a lump in his throat.

He turned to the plant again.
"She brought you so that you may be with me for the rest of my time. Another Rosemary. I am doing all I can, am I not? I take Mrs Razia's opinion every time you show signs of wilting. Please do not leave me. You should be here as long as I am alive, so that I can have my tea with you morning and evening. Oh, and Marie biscuits."

"English Marie," she would say.
"Why not French Marie," he would ask.
"Or German Marie or Chinese..."
"Oh no. Not Chinese, not Russian. I don't like communists."
A gentle smile played on Mathew's lips. So many things about her made him smile.

"What I am saying, my dear Rosemary, is that you must perk up, make an effort to bring some tiny little new leaves here," he touched the branch gently. You know what I am hoping? that one morning I will drink my tea with you and eat my Marie-English Marie-biscuits and then quietly go...just like her.

Writing Prompt
A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.

Dying Houseplant
Contest Winner


Thank you very much eileen 0204 for this lovely photograph.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by eileen0204 at

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