sometimes it feels like pullin weeds used to
Dad would gimme and brother powdered milk pots
they held about a gallon o weeds
but not just any weed
used to stuff the bottom with
other garden-variety type weeds
he would come halfway through our morning work
stick his hand down the pot and pull out handfuls,
if he saw our trick, he would empty our pot
“Start over again” he would say

Corosillo. Don’t know what the name means
it's a handsome weed I think
long sword like leaves, bright green
covered in shiny film and the stalk white
looked like leeks but smaller
what you didn’t see were roots
spreading for meters under sight
with little pepitas like nerve centers
sending out signals to other Corosillos
like satellites, broadcasting in secret code
their plan to rule the river rock backyard
that He’d worked so hard to make good

Corosillo was our enemy
after picking through the river rocks enough
to fill one pot, packed down and topped off
fingertips turned sore cuticles were sometimes
bloodied and torn
from diving and pinching amongst stones
but it gave a sense of finality
the work was done -good work
still plenty of Corosillo there
for tomorrow morning when school was out
but you’d finished the assignment
completed it with sweat and sometimes a little blood and you
Knew that when he stuck his hand down there
it would be only Corosillo from top to bottom
he wouldn’t applaud or pay for the work
he would say “good work now your finished
you can go and play”
and we would play -pirates, make forts,
Brother welding and carving his first muzzleloaders
for backwoods hunting to come


Anonymous said...


I remember helping pull weeds at your house. I never got the nack, never could pull the roots up. But I do remember the release of getting to go after we finished.


ras said...

bjb, remember sneaking out to smoke stolen cigarettes in the bomb shelter?