Let’s just say these sprouted here, and that we decided to let them grow. Let’s say the rain came, and that our hoes and shovels broke. Let’s say we are weeds ourselves. Yes, and before we die, let us recognize the truth.
I love the weeds growing around my door,
Familiar, independent, working without pay.
They would be on a hillside if they could,
And someday will be when the wind decides,
Or in a graveyard, to cushion the solemn ground.
Like all things, they arrive in joy, then die alone.
They are in their glory beside a stepping-stone,
Or against a sun-baked wall, conversing between railroad ties,
Behind churches, banks, and schools, around jails
And city halls, in sidewalks, parking lots, and roads.
Because they are free, and blossom when the spirit moves,
They are the target of small and jealous minds.
Greedy men study their habits and record their names,
Taking note of their uncommon vigor and pride,
Afraid the weeds will rise up and choke their lies.
And they are right. Weeds are not here just to survive.
They are here to pull up ugly fences by their roots,
Smother age-old boundaries, and hinder the feet of soldiers.
They are here to topple marble halls and coliseums,
Defy commerce, and reclaim what wayward man has ruined.
Above all, like children born to sing, their mission is to celebrate.
They strive to be as outrageous and beautiful as they can,
Even in death, which comes so soon, and is not soon forgotten.
I would rather be a weed than a safe and well-fed flower.
Better to perish by thirst or blade, than succumb to power.
Songs and Letters, January 21, 2006
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