Maybe it isn’t a weed—after all.
Color me optimistic.
That front bed has always
been a mess. It’s the harsh, afternoon light.
I have taken to tossing seeds in
at random, just to see what will take.
my reserve of planning has been
thoroughly exhausted. And anyway,
there have been some stand-out successes
from this method: showy lilies,
a few magenta coneflowers,
yellow columbine, and the magnificent
alliums. Why shouldn’t
this be one? A success.
It had grown up in tiers, one spectacular star
of narrow, dark-green leaves after another.
Always taller, always a new green cluster,
would it flower? What would
the flower be? Every time
just a fist of more leaves.
So it looked like some other,
smaller plants at the margin: this
was my baby, was going to give
the front the show it needed.
I have let the suspense grow
for almost two months, now tall
as a third-grader, I still have hope:
would a weed, I think having
just ripped it straight out of the ground,
have had such shallow roots?
What a dope.
About the Author
Benjamin Harnett is a poet, fiction writer, historian, and digital engineer. His poetry has appeared recently in Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Juked, and ENTROPY; and is forthcoming in Hobart Pulp and the Evansville Review. His short-story “Delivery” was Longform’s Story of the Week; he was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in Poetry; and he has been nominated for a Pushcart. He lives in Beacon, NY with his wife Toni and a collection of eccentric pets. He works for The New York Times.