They slipped in
with Mother’s burning bush.
It died. They lived.
Their knobby roots crowd
around every delicacy–
meadow queen, shooting star,
coral bell, moonbeam.
They crept and tangled
through roots of false indigo,
daylily, coneflower.
Mother’s violets
moved across pavement paths
and through the lawn.
Underground, each violet
is cleistogamous: self-fertile,
closed mouthed, with tight
flowers that will not open.
I have weeded myself
purple with pain.
They thrive
on mulch, grow through stone,
eat vinegar, laugh at flame.
They will not let me make
a garden of my own.


  1. Maggie says:

    Yah, but …….

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