Black Thumb’s Mercy
The path beyond my garden is knotted and
frayed at the edge where our overgrowth tumbles
onto boundaries between us and them.
No major action taken thus far by us,
the current owners, to curl back the
photosynthesized nonsense from the
well-manicured landscape of our neighbors
– that is, outside of
assassinating a few weeds
– well, wifey does that part,
as I’m fortunate enough to have
asthma’s hacking fits, and the man-child
who still honors us with rent-free company
over-promises and delivers but a
lukewarm token hack-job, earning him no pay.
Best leave killing for the pros, anyway.
No matter though, as wifey has enough
murder in her heart for thugged-out weeds,
shriveled plants that were once treasures, and
even the poor trees guilty only of being
rooted in the wrong place at the wrong time, as
she hacked down the sturdiest foliage planted
too close to home to be considered safe
– actually, for this part she mostly
hired contract killers, but she may as
well had pulled the trigger herself.
While watching from the safety of the living
room, I successfully pleaded for the life
of the largest tree landmarking the edge
of our property with the biggest spring blossoms,
the sturdiest leaves that clutter the driveway
in autumn, and – basically, it lives as
the tree wifey swears at the most.
She spared this tree because I enjoy
looking at it from our living room window.
This slob-of-a-tree and a few Rhododendron
– or Azaleas, because Christ – put a gun to my
head and I still couldn’t tell the difference
– are all that remain from what was once a
thriving botanical garden of what wifey called
ugly plants that deserved to die.
But she spared my messy-ass tree, and
kindred spirits make for good company.
I bet the neighbors miss the previous
gardeners as much as the slain garden,
especially in the back yard, where it looks
like zephyr invited squall and tornado
to a rave, leaving behind pine-needle
confetti as neighboring trees litter
their dead-weight over the fence into our
yard in the form of broken branches.
They don’t know how lucky they are to have
been planted on the other side of our fence.
Written for NaPoWriMo’s Day 4 prompt, and I’ll just quote the prompt from the site:
Today, we challenge you to write a poem that is about something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns.
This was easily my favorite prompt thus far. I don’t know if my effort measures up, but I relished the challenge.