The Black Nightshade
The butterflies return
to find me stooped
among the landscape stones,
tugging out Fleabane,
unearthing thick stems of sharp Thistle.
This time of year
my neighbors side eye
each other’s yards,
fear that my weeds
might invade their lawns.
Am I at war with a side yard
I’ll never control? It’s tempting
to use Borax, sprinkle wide-spectrum
pre-emergence broadleaf weed block.
Some life forms need little tending.
I pull Oxalis, Ragweed, and Wild Violets
wearing suede gloves
decorated with flowers.
For something so aggravating,
we have the most evocative names.
Doors to little worlds begging.
Down some pricy meat at the Lamb’s Quarter bistro.
Then jingle the brass bell at the Purslane book shop.
Gobble a sundae at Nutsedge, leave with a box of fudge.
And finger the hand-knit cardigans at Velvet Leaf Yarn Barn.
But in all seriousness,
if I owned a watering hole in this town,
I’d call it The Black Nightshade.
Because that’s a place I know you’d go
to find out what’s on tap.