A tangled wildness was choking out
the Iceland poppies she had set in rows
along the peeling, yellow picket fence.
She sat beneath the tree and thought about
the years she’d fought those weeds and all the hoes
she’d bought. Whatever for?
If she’d the sense
of weeds and worms, she would have left them all
alone and saved herself the work. With him,
she could have sat beneath that weeping oak
and watched those wild weeds grow strong and tall
each spring and ripen in the summer.
could laugh away the world. It was a joke
to him, and he could laugh at everything
the world contained. He’d laugh at her out there
with dirty hands and knees and she would yell,
“You’re good for nothing. That you are.” and fling
a clod of dirt at him.
He didn’t care
if he was hit, but if he was he’d tell
her, “For a little gal, you’ve quite an arm.”
and they would banter back and forth and then
he’d smile and call her something special, and
it wouldn’t matter what he did.
was there in all his life? It’s just, some men
aren’t meant to be a rock. Some men are sand.
first published in The Newvictorian