Thursday, June 30, 2016

Weedpuller

As a kid
I was instructed
to pull the weeds,
like it was
instinctual.

I didn’t know
what a weed was,
so I tried to surmise
meaning from context:

“I hate those
God-damned weeds.”

“Those weeds
are choking out
the grass.”

I thought
weeds were bad, ugly,
mean-looking,
so I set about
my task.

After an hour
of pulling,
I’d acquired quite
a mound of
dead vegetation,
and when I proudly
showed my mom,
she blasted:

‘WHAT THE HELL
ARE YOU DOING?
THOSE ARE MY
GOOD PLANTS!
YOU LEFT
ALL THE WEEDS
IN THE GROUND!”

I didn’t know.

They all looked ugly,
bad and mean
to me.

To this day,
I can’t easily predict
how others will judge
the cursed from the desired,
the worthless from the proper.

It’s been that way
with
plants,
music,
art,
and people,

and it taught me
to respect my choices,
especially
in who I would become.

[Written for Real Toads challenge.]

12 comments:

  1. What a marvelous and totally unexpected take on the prompt! I really enjoyed this, Mosk.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This not only made me laugh out loud, it made me cheer. I tend to love the offbeat things too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I LOVE this story, and remember when my mom once hired a young lad to pull her weeds and he pulled up the plants - but how does one know a weed, unless he is shown? Loved this story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is a masterful development of your theme here. Great conclusion.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember finding it very hard as well... so hard to really work out the difference... and yes it even apply to people.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great metaphor ~ who's to say what's a weed and what isn't? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. How many of us when a kid were told to "pull the weeds?" For sure that was a job of mine. Except Mom and Dad instructed me very well about which ones, by variety, that I should pull. We had to get the roots out, not too much hoeing of them. Yes, I also use the word as a metaphor quite often. My poem could work that way, especially if I hadn't have put up a weed picture.
    ..
    ..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really a lot in this one, Mosk. I see a microcosm of what it is to be real, and of course all that 'eye of the beholder' thing--(Also, never assume.) Really well conceived and flawlessly executed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. As the youngest in my family by 9 years, a lot of stuff was assumed by the time i came along. I can totally relate to being sent out to do something with no idea how.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "like it was
    instinctual."

    This basic assumption has given me more grief in my life. I don't know what the prompt was, but this is a clever use of metaphor and makes me realize that something that I thought was a personal flaw may be just a universal communication glitch.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The meaning that lies at the end in a little pool of deep wisdom gives me goosebumps...it's like the underground water where the roots drink from. Lovely, Mosk.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is fantastic! Love your ending.

    ReplyDelete