Sunday, July 19, 2009

Country Scents and Weeds

I drove back to the city from visiting a friend recently and from there to here or here to there, crops were growing like gangbusters. A green lush carpet of plantings and growings spread out as far as I could see on both sides of the road. I took back roads part of the way. In the city you can't smell growing things from a car window. But in the country in July the corn and soybeans growing smell is still fragrant.

Which got me to thinking about weeds and ways we deal with them these days.

That early month of March when the grass is still
Brown, a green blade or bright flower is welcome.
I’m thirsty for green and yellow, and every year
Delight in a field of dandelions and wild violets.

I remember my Mom most every month ‘till she
Surrendered again in July, using a rusty knife
That became a yard tool when one summer night
It was left on the step after cutting cucumbers.

Mom made war digging roots with that knife, laying
The defeated on old muslin sheets and then emptying
The bundle on the pile behind the chicken coop.
Every year they survived to fight her again and win.

Hours of most pretty spring days she would be seen
Digging weeds from the otherwise green of a long
Sloping lawn around our house in the country, in
Old dress, shoes and a bonnet; a vision in memory.

Moving to town, she seemed a wild woman to the townies.
She strung a clothes line out back and carved a garden
From the perfect green sod to grow vegetables on a
Smaller scale since she was alone. It did not thrive.

In that place no one dug their weeds, preferring to
Pay a tank truck driver to spray the grass with a lethal
Brew of poison that seemed to target only the weeds and
It would seem potatoes, tomatoes and mush melon.

July 19, 2009