Mary always shook her head
when I told her I pulled up the mullein.
You know you could farm it,
she said. You can use it to make
healing oil. And Tara, from Texas,
she laughed at my weeding. Told me
how she had dug up two mullein rosettes
to transplant them in her yard.
The leaves, she said, they’re so, so soft.
And the flowers, they’re beautiful,
Every year, the mullein
come back, no matter how fastidiously
I have cleared the field the year before.
How many other things have tried
to clear with no success?
The seasons are changing, The air
wears a yellowing scent and afternoons
forget themselves. I used to resent
the way things return. Now I resent
and admire them, even
those taprooted thoughts that showed up today,
those ones that I have wished away.
And here we are again. The field
will never be cleared. The work
will always be waiting. And somewhere
inside the despised thing, the chance
to find healing, to see beauty, to feel grace.