THE WEED-WATCHER

From first nubbins poking up
out of cracks in the highway
out of strips of curbside dirt
fissures in the sidewalk,
I’ve been watching them
all season. As though to learn
some lesson about survival.

A motley nation of weeds
geysering up like Old Faithful–
the Ragweed’s silvery tops
reaching up week after week
to tower tall as a schoolchild
by early September.
The False Bamboo thickening
by the roadside into a jungle
to rocket high in triumph
before it pales to brown
fades & topples the first cold night.

What is it about this old story?
Maybe that stubborn energy
the will to surge upwards over
& over, ugly or pretty or plain,
maybe the music of their names–
Burdock & Bullthistle
Foxtail & Knotweed–
this loveliness against all odds.