It grows, multiplies in the dark of its own accord
like bugs: aphids appear out of nowhere
on sunflower leaves and orange milkweed.
Thousands of golden squash bug eggs,
their horrible nymphs.  Fat potato bugs.
Darting cucumber beetles, iridescent clouds
of clattering Japanese beetles–
foreign invaders of roses and beans.
Or like weeds:  Virginia creeper
creeping up the guy wires, smothering the dogwood.
Golden parsnip with its burning juice–
the dreadful Midas Touch.  Endless annoyance
of sorrel in the onion rows.  The clutter

in my house happens in just that way:
shelves teeming with books I will not read, or read again,
parasite dresses clinging to closet poles,
pictures creeping up the walls.
Vases I don’t remember loom from greasy shelves,
newspapers, magazines infest the coffee table.
Weird unwelcome teacups reproduce in corner cupboards
and fluttery notebooks lurk in every drawer.

Mary F. C. Pratt
published in Blue Unicorn Oct., 2006


2 comments on “LIKE BUGS AND WEEDS

  1. kathy says:

    This is helpful. Most years I keep the garden free of pests, so maybe…

  2. erieffel says:

    Perhaps it’s because I’m reading this so close to Halloween, but this is delightfully creepy, with all the looming and lurking of the ordinary.

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