Fall 1983 • Vol. V No. 4 Fiction |

Autumn: The Rain and the Leaves

At this job, among his various other responsibilities, Marcovaldo had to water every morning the potted plant in the entrance hall. It was one of those green houseplants with an erect, thin stalk from which, on both sides, broad, long-stemmed, shiny leaves stick out: in other words, one of those plants that are so plant-shaped, with leaves so leaf-shaped, that they don't seem real. But still it was a plant, and as such it suffered, because staying there, between the curtain and the umbrella stand, it lacked light, air, and dew. Every morning Marcovaldo discovered some nasty sign: the stem of one leaf drooped as if it could no longer support the weight, another leaf was becoming spotted like the cheek of a child with measles, the tip of a third leaf was turning yellow; until, one or the other, plop!, was found on the floor. Meanwhile (what most wrung his heart), the plant's stalk grew taller, taller, no longer making orderly fronds, but naked as a pole, with a clump at the top that m

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At this job, among his various other responsibilities, Marcovaldo had to water every morning the potted plant in the entrance hall. It was one of those green houseplants with an […]

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