Meeting of Mavericks


Milkweed grows by my fence.
Don't ask me to pull it.
Weeds were my friends in childhood –
emerald explosions
in the dull cinders of train track,
green lace at the sleeves
of our water trough.
Eyes starved for color
were well fed by fireweed
elbowing tin cans aside
to take over the dump.

I live in the city now,
but claim kinship whenever
the uncombed leaf of a dandelion
pops up like a gopher
in the midst of a groomed lawn,
or a purple thistle –
remembered from roadside ditches –
looms insolent
in an enclave of roses.

Today a prickly thing
I don't know the name of
is exploiting a crack
in our sidewalk.
I greet it as a friend:
"Hello, I too
like to challenge the fissures
in my firmament,
squeeze through, sometimes,
more often fracture my skull."

My new acquaintance braces his spine
along the crack, and shoves.
Cement crumbles.

I think tonight
I will sneak out and water
this one!


LoVerne Brown, The View From the End of the Pier, Gorilla Press, 1983.