Behind the Trolley Restaurant

Behind the trolley restaurant In the parking lot,
a 4-year-old's crouch says Look,
where she points to an eruption in asphalt:
six narrow leaves and a stalk rising.
Her sandaled feet slap across
to more – tiny cracked mounds
with green coming through.
And along edges near the next lot:
beanstalk beginnings of the future tribe
reclaiming earth.
No one identifies the plant, but
I think of farm thistle that always returned
no matter how we fought it, of its bloom
more showy than the pansies Grandmother grew;
of mint and sumac in our back yard,
multiplying underground and pushing up
a jungled foliage, sinewed movement
out of sight and rising....
A flock of black and yellow
flickers overhead and we all look up.
As the child plucks hard green buds
from this asphalt field,
I think Hopkins's line
Long live the weeds!
Dixie Partridge

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