Botany Schmotany







I am a haphazard gardener
too little time or knowledge

the birds know it
they plant wild cherry trees
wherever they choose
spread mulberry bushes around
and scatter prickly thistle

those little green gauntlets, thrown down

the squirrels know it
moving seeds and bulbs
with wild abandon
just to startle me
as unexpected red tulips and small oaks
pop up where the hosta should be

rabbits, too, mock me
nibbling kale on the deck
when they know I’m on the road again
and I can tell, when I return
to those empty, leafless stems
that beady-black eyes peer out from under the shed
and there are soft giggles at my dismay

the word is out, around the neighborhood

once, while I was weeding
a vole bumped smack into me
stepped back, sized me up and down
and I was sure I detected a “tsk, tsk”
as he sauntered slowly
and nonchalantly
around the corner

apparently, even the nearly blind can see it

the insects have observed with amusement
my bumbling attempts at landscaping
as I dig, plant and then dig
and replant the peonies
until they are happy enough
to let the ants help them undress

and of course the not-so-grassy yard
basks in the sun
of my ineptitude
with violets and dandelions
inviting wild strawberries and creeping buttercup
in for tea

early in the morning
I lie in bed listening
as squirrels snicker
at the robins’ long ballad
about my lackadaisical skills
while ants and bees hum happily along
and the daisies do a jig across the lawn

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