Weeding the Garden- It’s All Poison Ivy

In response to my disrupted plans and leisure,
I stomp out into our front yard

The air preceding dawn, thick with moisture. But this is summer in the south, everything’s wet, all the time.

My steaming coffee evaporates the dew though not quickly enough,
viscous doubt covers my skin, goose bumps mingling with a steady stream of sweat.

I sink, knees dampening in clay and topsoil that doesn’t belong here, like me, perhaps, a transplant from an outside world- all concrete and noise as familiar and unfamiliar as the mulch clinging to my knees.

Prostrate, weeding the garden for answers about how to mend broken sense and clear out rabbit holes,

I beg for forgiveness, devoid of remorse.

I half-mimic, half-mock examples of propriety with their gloved hands and sun hats but fall short or somewhere in between, not that I really care.

Holiday wreaths and seasonal flowers are blue ribbon prizes on display by every mailbox except the weed-eaten patch I’d like to grass-over. Stupid waste of my time.

With each yank of weed more furious than the last I pick through shrubs and trees, dead flowers and poison ivy, oblivious.

One hand trembles, the other aches closing around responsibility and anger, exasperation beginning to win this little battle.

I am saving plants I hate, because I’m supposed to care.

What do your sunny buds have to hide? I wonder and smirk perusing my neighbors’ yards. The same secrets and deficiencies camouflaged in my lipstick and heels?

But my hair doesn’t fall as straight as yours, does it, and it blows wild in the Georgia storms.

I know a lot more, though, than you like to pretend.
Is this ample consolation for someone who’s lived in the shadows for so long
or kindling for a new game?

You think I don’t remember, when you put me on the spot – exhausted conscience trying to decipher your words,

But I recall too much for you to stomach and for me to remember.
I’m not sure how to maneuver each moment into its space, muddling time irrelevant.

I keep running into roadblocks and assholes and I’m tired.

Decades of training abandoned, piece together my warped foundation. This ain’t no yellow brick road, baby, I’m telling you that. But it’s a pretty damn eventful way to go.

On the beach we purge our minds draining $10 beers, mine with a torn paper napkin shielding my hands from the cold.

You know I can’t handle the cold any more, or do you with your important neuroses and your own struggles?

The ocean laps up our need for conversation
or maybe it’s those little white pills all the doctors give me when they’re out of answers,

but those things usually diffuse my thoughts.

I can’t hide when I’m naked, you know, though they still find me appealing.
I love the freedom born in veritas

And you like the idea of my wit and confidence;
my openness and don’t give a shit attitude are refreshing, but I do give a shit all too often,
don’t you think?

You like the way my deep cherry kisses mottle your palms, the perfect place for you to hide me after my smooth curves have arced beneath your rough hands.

I clear your mind and lay guilt on your conscience,
a regular old Jimmy Cricket though much more fun, clad in my lace now littering the floor of your thoughts.

That infernal incense and pomp frightened me out of life.
I had forgotten there is righteousness, of course, but not without human error.

Why are they calling into question my integrity,
all of those floral spotted gardens?

I know them for all they are, and you, for all we are,

just a bunch of mismatched and battle-scarred warriors in a quiet sideshow parade.


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