How do weeds become weeds?

Does a committee meet at fixed times—
review the candidates submitted for censure—
hold hearings—
run statistics—
post graphs
charting the assaults and retreats of nature?
Perhaps there’s some form for aggrieved tillers of the soil to fill out,
or a number to text with transgressors’ photos.

A grand jury may call on the abject perennial
so the prosecutor can rouse them with its meristem depravity.

And then what hemlock must the condemned be given?
Stoically it perishes in the arms of its companions—
Exfoliants come without blindfolds or cigarettes.

Usually we tramp across our cultivations with due process,
purging intruders from the cult of our thought,
collecting the chaste cucumber
and spurning the Dionysian dandelion.
Mercy it is, when a microbial twig
from half-tilled soil
shreds our barriers
and pokes its way into consciouness.


This poem was published in issue 9 of Book of Matches, September 1, 2023.

Andy Oram
February 19, 2022

More poems