Phoebe Reiter is in her second year at UCI majoring in Public Health Policy and Psychological Sciences. She works in the Resident Housing Association as a Community Programmer and also serves as a staffer for ASUCI Academic Resources. 



By: Phoebe Reiter

Published: September 25th, 2020


passed down from the hands of sustainability,

just a packet of basil seeds and a clump of dirt.

with time, jerry became a plant all could see,

little sprouts that didn’t foresee the hurt.


within a dorm room in harrowdale,

jerry’s wishes were at first misheard,

as his leaves were starting to look quite frail-

we limited the water and he seemed cured.


in the hallway, i heard a shout and a tumble.

dashing inside to find that jerry had crumpled.

his pot sideways and his soil wide and far,

there was my roommate performing cpr.


waiting for minutes, hours, days in anguish,

suddenly he revived with great dashes of green.

all we could say was: “jerry, you were missed”

it was hard to not make a scene.


moved to the windowsill in the hallway,

he grew strong and tall, each and every day.

we were proud but wary,

as soon jerry would become quite tasty.

with freshly cooked pasta in hand,

we snipped off some leaves to add to the sauce.

water and sunlight his only demand,

he regrew quickly and seemed unaware of his loss.



as winter quarter ended and halls became empty,

jerry seemed to realize that his time was nigh.

his yellowing leaves whispered “don’t forget me”,

and with heavy hearts, we said goodbye.



before we left, we visited the src and got new seeds,

ready for new beginnings and tragedies.