Saturday, 09.02:


Something that looks like bindweed, a yellow-green twist bearing a few scant leaves, breaking from the poisoned mulch covering the scrawny islanded maples in the parking lot at Lowe’s. I’ve come to look at apple trees—Braeburn, Pink Lady—and dream of having space to plant them. Something that looks like mulberry seedlings, a few inches high, the same yellow-green, and I think, asthmatic, wondering how anything could rise through this chemical blanket, wondering why a business that purveys so many garden plants can’t design living beds instead of spraying to kill any green toehold. Some daylily, probably the ubiquitous Stella, patchy, subsisting, not blooming, planted too deeply, smothered by its black-dyed mulch. Some sparrow pecking then vaulting away, brown flower, little brown job, how anyone distinguishes more than three or four species is a wonder to me, though I bend to verify purslane pressed flat against the drain-edge, holding tight, making do. Gala. Johnagold. No Honeycrisp, as if it mattered—can’t take them home anyway, though some part of me likes to know they’re here, they stand a chance. Red pins vectoring into a map. The coddled, the pampered exotics. The wind-flung fuzz the sparrows missed collecting in the planters’ edges, rising in thin clumps of serrated leafy seedlings. Some kind of elm. How green pushes, pushes back.

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