Yes, the fronds of fern in the purple pot
on the corner table, the fern itself,
are real and not plastic. Touch and see.
Isn’t it lovely to make that kind of double
take? Especially since the opposite is more
commonplace. I knew someone who watered
the fake succulents in the apartment
she was house-sitting, before she discovered
they were what you might call perennial,
only in a different way. We have a book
on Strandbeests, with images of their slow-
then-quickstep locomotion along the beach.
Something about their errant progress,
driven by wind and kinetic algorithms,
makes me feel tender, even maternal: those
unvarnished legs, those long, slender ribs
and their wing-like movements. Try, try, try,
the gears seem to say. And the lone figure
on the shore, like the gulls and nervous sand
fiddlers: alert, monastic, just observing.