by Robert W. Gill
Copyright - July 12, 1998
There's this weed in my garden.
Easily 5 feet tall with 4 stalks and wide elliptic leaves.
It's actually kind of interesting but it had to go.
It was stealing light + food from the tomato plants I didn't want.
See my dad gave them to me and though I don't like the acidic
fruit they bear I can't just throw them out,
it wouldn't be right.
I set out to remove the "stealer of life"
(that's what I call the weed)
I grasp the first stalk + bend it low to the ground.
A satisfying snap sounds forth.
Stalks 2, 3 + 4 follow in short order.
I twist the last to pull it free but it clings to the base of the plant.
I change grips and pull again - the result are hands covered in weed goo.
I tug harder but my goo slicked hands lose their purchase.
I retreat in search of a rag, and gloves.
Hands wiped clean and covered with hide I once again approach the weed.
I grasp it firmly and give it a yank, to no avail.
I grunt, spread my legs wider for better balance and
grapple with the annoyance before me.
I land on my ass.
Frustrated, but undaunted I head for the gargage in search of tools.
My first thought is a sapce but it seems to have disappeared.
Hoe, rake, pry bar are all passed by.
No I need something more.
Ah the maul! Not an ax, not a sledge, but a maul.
Weapon in hand I approach the beast, I mean weed.
I raise the maul, almost a salute, and then hack at the base of the plant.
The tool slices through cleanly. More goo leaks out.
I rear back + swing slashing stalk 2.
Rear back + slash destroying stalk 3.
One stalk remains, bent, broken but not detached.
I drop the maul and grip the stalk between my hands.
I pull and the roots lift from the ground.
They keep coming, over 4 feet of roots, like giant tentacles
pulled from that which gives it life.
I stare at the carnage I have made, dead plant strewn about,
hole in the ground where once a vibrant thing grew.
Was it worth the effort for red fruit I don't even like.
I don't this so but I would do it again.
It felt too good.
There was this weed in my garden.