The Life That I Have

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“Weeds, weeds, I love you.”
—Theodore Roethke

I am digging up morning glories
(once again wondering who named them that).
Invasive, they have spread themselves
from one spot to another,
tangling themselves around seedlings.

I push my trowel as deep as it wants to go
while the sucking soil attempts to exert control,
but it’s seldom I get all the roots.
Warm and itchy, I shake loose what earth I can
and take pains to put back the worms.

Dandelions are easier, their broad leaves belying
their easily accessible roots.
These, along with dockweed, thistles, nettles,
and countless weeds I cannot identify
go into my buckets.

In a better life, Roethke,
I might come to love your weeds.
But in the life that I have
they are my weeds,
and I’m hauling them off to the dump.


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