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.
OK—listen—this year
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.