The Weeds Are Taking Over by Sarah Mackey Kirby

The Weeds Are Taking Over

Begonias don’t live here anymore. Inside
clay pots framing the pebbled concrete patio.
No petunias to speak of, splashes of red and purple
in hanging baskets that line the wooden fence.
I didn’t plant them this year. I didn’t.

It’s only May, and I’m already tired. I wish I could
spread mulch over the roses, covering soil so rich
and loamy their roots anchor themselves like a man
in a comfy old recliner, and they thank me with an
endless-blossom summer that continues into fall.

But these days, the days themselves are heavy.
Weeds hang out where tomato plants should grow,
and I know it’s not going to happen this season.
Tomatoes and peppers. Not going to happen.
Oh the herbs, a jungle of thyme and mint.

I listen to the birds, and they still seem to like it here.
Three nests. Morning singing. Discussions in the corner
about whatever wrens discuss. The hummingbirds
have forgiven me, I guess. This once. Though I didn’t plant
their sweet hibiscus, and begonias don’t live here anymore.

by Sarah Mackey Kirby

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Editor’s Note: Expert enjambment and the variation of short and long sentences creates an atmosphere of exhaustion in this poem that is easy for a reader to understand, but more importantly, to feel.