I pull a lot of different kinds of weeds from my garden.
Just because it's green, doesn't mean it's good.
I want to see my garden full of green things.
But not the green of weeds.
I'd rather see empty brown dirt around my potato plants
than this abundance of greenery that chokes out the health of the real things.
The last potato in the row, the one close to the edge,
has a lot of green on it.
I look closer, because the leaf shape seems wrong.
It has been entwined in a viney weed.
It takes me a long time to free the plant.
The weed that has entangled it started growing a foot away from it,
and crept over inch by inch.
It wound itself tightly around the potato,
strangling it out in its climb higher.
I feel along the length of the vine, until it enters the earth,
and grasp it and pull out its roots.
But its body is still wrapped in and around the potato.
When I finally pull it free, the potato sags,
because it has been unaccustomed to supporting its own weight.
It doesn't know how to stand, and its leaves are small and look beaten.
I wish I had gotten there sooner.
There were some happy surprises, too.
Some volunteer tomatoes seem to be growing well.
I left them where they stood, though I did not plant them there.
And buried under the weeds, as I pulled them away,
the purple leaves of basil that I thought was bad seed advertised its beauty.
First one, then two, then six or so plants made themselves known.
A joy to find good seed among the insidious weeds.
All is not lost.
I weed on.