came home today to find a spot in the front garden
occupied by greenery i hadn't, myself, planted, though someone else
had clearly done the deed -
the gardener next door, perhaps,
bent on spreading good cheer,
might have dropped by while I was away
to spread the surreptitious seedling.
now, a nascent, naked shrub
lay dead center, halfway between
the hardy aloe and the unkillable jade,
ringed by a swatch of wet chocolate soil.
the whole scene was optimistic yet, somehow, eerily
plasticene, on the verge of havoc,
the shrub improperly armored,
the new kid on the block,
untested on this end of the house,
the exposed, windy, earth-spewn side.
I had a feeling
it wouldn't survive the week.
there had been a weed growing there before,
a thing which had sprouted
magically out of the near-fallow dirt,
flourished, despite the sudden
bouts of rain pounding our coastline
our defenseless western facades,
this weed had grown tall and proud,
faster and higher than the intentional plants
mottling my feral city garden.
had sprigs of flowers even. this weed,
it seemed to me, had become
the greenest thing on the block,
a cheerful sight
on the grayest mornings,
a length of stalk defying both grafity
and the nutrient-poorm dirt out front,
growing by leaps and bounds sometimes
like a teenager hurtling out the house,
until its architecture was all
it got so interesting i couldn't bear
to hack it down,
each weekend promising a new shoot
each rainstorm a test of wills
each exit from the car door a silent greeting.
and it became rather like a pet
but without the clocked feedings.
a pet without the midnight mewls and the
unpleasantness of deworming.
it became rather like MY weed,
these last months,
not necessarily the reason
to get up in the mornings
but evidence that it was entirely possible
and even necessary
to leave certain things alone
since they would flourish