John Scholvin

John Scholvin

still can’t fit a half-stack in the trunk

08 Oct 2016

lemon promise

I put a lemon seed in a flower pot just now. At least I’m pretty sure it’s a lemon seed. Sharon puts slices of lemon in her water and I found it near the cutting board. It’s definitely some kind of citrus seed and I don’t think there have been any seeded oranges in the house. Let’s stipulate it’s lemon.

This is a crime of opportunity, no worse than second degree murder. The seed, a foundling, and the pot, available—an old, neglected croton had finally given up the ghost and she is at rest now in the compost bin. I spied a half a bag of potting soil in the garage earlier, and decided on a whim: I’m doing this. I’m raising something to die.

It has to die. I mean, everything dies, except evil, but I don’t mean it in that way. No, it will die at my hand. Assuming it sprouts and grows, there will come a time where a young lemon sapling can no longer be raised indoors in the upper midwest. It’ll be too big. It’ll need to be outside. Obviously, that can’t happen here. Beautiful things die here when you leave them outside, if they haven’t evolved to sleep for the six worst months. This lemon tree of the future, this promise, doesn’t know how to sleep that sleep. It needs the sun and only the sun.

But because I’m rooted here like the oaks and maples and ginkgoes and locusts currently closing up shop for the year, this lemon tree will surely follow that croton into the compost pile after it inevitably outgrows the biggest indoor container I can find for it. It’s going to die here, wanting to spread its roots, strangled by mine.