dandelion, image by Stefan Schweihofer, on Pixabay
from blight-knotted ground
a blazes in unclocked glory,
from parched waste-lots, concrete
litter scuttered parkway;
all luminous tenacity,
mute cells replicating
phyllaries, ligules, anthers, taproot.
Little lion-tooth. Invasive aster,
as church candles from fallow gardens
flitched in thistle,
urban ditch [shattered glass shine]
and glutted gutter
pushes green stem, [milk-sap-stain]
& brute-toothed leaf
through asphalt's rough crumb, terminates
in silk-glow, bee-bright.
Leaf and bloom, it offers up
its ragged self, becomes;
mason-jarred wine, unbittered
bowl of bacon-fatted greens,
childhood's braided chains
split stems, saffron coronas
garnishing throats and heads.
O would that I also
bloom such brilliance
proffering, from gravelled hands,
this bowl of light.
The last time I gave birth
I let my garden die.
While I learned to thread a tube
into my tiny daughter's nose
listening through a stethoscope
as it entered her belly
to nourish frail failing flesh,
Crabgrass thrust toes
through the vegetable patch.
Pigweed and briars
took hold among lilies and liatris.
I let the spade and secaturs lay
taking up instead
syringes, gavage, heart monitor
and anti-seizure meds
as my new tools against invasion.
The roses choked in ivy,
to rot among dandelions.
I embraced this peculiar darkness
that could welcome any living thing,
setting my seasons of growth
to midnight feedings
infant massage, my callused hands, slick with grapeseed oil,
to the rigid constraints of physical therapy. It wasn't that I had no time
to prune and stake,
that she-beast who turns
without warning, it was simply that,
watching spurge lace my garden path green
I found I had no heart
to tear away
to kill what sprang
wholly formed and uninvited
from fertile soil
Kim Welliver is an autodidact who has been passionate about the written word,
in all its iterations, since early childhood. When she isn't writing, she is caring
for her profoundly disabled child or working as a Special Ed/mobility aide for
children in elementary school. Both a 2021 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net
nominee, her work can be found in print and online publications, including
Rock & Sling, Mid-American Review, Night Picnic, Healing Muse, The Dead Mule
School of Southern Literature, Fairy Tale Review Anthologies, and many others.