The Simple Things
A POETIC PAUSE
Naming the Weeds
Sunday. I walk the garden path where sun-blotched paving warms my feet. This border’s rich confusion shows me weeds whose generations are fifty years, a hundred years older than the house, the street. I name their blossoming: violet, figwort, viper’s bugloss, vetch.
Our garden logs the years in layers of planted hopes, yet weeds endure, old words tucked under the hem of speech, leafing up unnoticed till a sudden colour lights the hedge bottom and reminds me, sends me back to the flower book to be sure I’m naming them right: enchanter’s nightshade, self-heal, fox-and-cubs.
A rain shower drives me in, to move aside leaf patterned curtains and stare out across a garden full of words. Tansy, etym. unknown, perhaps linked to the Greek for immortality, holds up its yellow buttons. I watch seasons pass while buried names like little bursts of thought spring from neglected corners: coltsfoot, bittercress, toadflax, poppy, spurge.