The struggle for domination has been joined again:
I, the gardener, wrest the weeds out of flower beds,
piling them in green heaps to be taken to the compost pile
or to the chickens who will scratch and tear at them until
all that remains will be long, thin tendrils that once were hearty
gill-over-the-ground, or stiff stalks of thwarted goldenrod.
It is thus every spring. Determined to be victor, if only temporarily,
I pull, twist, cut and dig the unwanteds from my beds. Every year,
the plants return, their enthusiastic tendrils wrapping iris, weaving
through lily-of-the-valley, hiding beneath the daylilies. I swear
they grow stronger for the challenge, dig their roots in deeper
but I refuse to cede the field to their predations.
And yet I know that when I am no longer able
to fight this fight, the weeds will triumph and in the end
Nature will take back her own. It has always been so,
and I bow my head to the inevitability
while yet casting my eyes sideways
and reaching down to grasp
just one more strand of wild sweet potato vine
and twist it from the soil. For this moment at least
I am winning, or perhaps the only one fooled
is this old gardener, trying to contain what has always been wild
and will always be so, beneath the groomed cover
of blossoming borders.