That’s the name of the most beautiful
sweet scented flower that bloomed
free in the back yard of my old house.
Not short it grows vertical almost overnight
well I probably didn’t notice while I was
chasing babies in that century home.
My habit is to pull weeds that could be goldenrod
I have friends who are allergic to it
the majestic fawning tower of pollen irritant.
I weeded out my coneflower for two years before
I thought to plant it in a pot marked
A new gardener who only knew basil and tomatoes
I learned to identify seedlings
before I wiped them out.
I have been gardening again
I’m taking it slow, planting
over a period of weeks instead of days.
This is a seed year
The packets came in the winter
I dreamt of arugula, kale and eggplant.
I spent two days pulling strawberries
wild and fertile they spread over
last year’s radishes and into the swiss chard.
My back is an issue so I rest often
It is time for more physical therapy
I may have a festival to exhibit in this fall.
Looking for life in the previous beds
Twenty pots of something I didn’t plant
grow green with an unknown purpose.
I must have blinked because
Girlie put poison ivy in her mouth
She stood mouth open tongue out holding that plague.
“Spit that out” I said
I flew to the girl in a heartbeat
“All done, time to go inside.”
I marched her hand in the air through the
granite path in our roofless greenhouse
up the stairs in the house straight to the bathroom.
“Wash your hands, Girlie.”
“Wahs hans, soa wata,” she says.
“Here’s some special soap.”
She likes to lather and rinse in cold water
for what feels like hours rubbing the bubbles
into fine consistency of white foam.
“Mommee I wahs hans.” “Good girl.”
I call the Silent Sentinel to
watch her in the bathroom while I
Call poison control and
photograph the unwelcome plant
to confirm Toxicodendron radicans.
She was lucky. One finger
on her right hand had a blister
Her mouth, lips and chin were unblemished.
Poison control called back hours later to check on her.
Breathing, playing and eating chocolate tofutti frozen desert
She’s fine. My heart pounding still. It’s never boring here.