Poetry

Dispatch #030

Stubborn weeds  
 
By Shizue Seigel
 
 
In my neighborhood of stubborn weeds 
I hope that COVID came just in time to save us 
from total eradication, preserving the last of the grit 
from million-dollar scrubs of virgin 
olive oil, oatmeal and sage by the pampered few who 
can afford to bathe their skins with what lesser folk can eat. 
Will the virus slow them down 
like the bursting of dot.com 1 
or the ’89 earthquake? 
Coastal fog used to be sufficient 
to keep away those who did not love this land 
the fragile interface with sea and  
sky sometimes unseen all summer long. 
fog tendrils, microdroplets 
bursting against our cheeks, reminding us 
like warning blasts and mourning bleats 
signaling ships at sea and landlubbers alike 
that we are all adrift on life—reality rising and falling 
heaving and lulling, by turns. 
There are no guarantees,  
only the invitation to risk. 
We are a hardy people 
buckwheat and sorrel 
dandelions and succulents. 
Look down your nose at us, 
indulge yourself elsewhere 
with showy blooms and gourmet grazings. 
We are a plain people whose meager dollars 
sent a generation to college so 
they could look down at us, too. 
Now they are learning something priceless: 
there are no guarantees except 
death comes to all of us. 
Life comes from how you  
meet it. 

May 23, 2020

* Originally published as a SFPL Poem of the Day




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