By Megan Neville
Here I am again. In the Midwestern haze
of Memorial Day I stage my perennial battle
against mint: erect stalks, proud leaves, a
legacy laid by my home’s previous owner.
Damp soil caulks the lines of my palms
as I squat in the flowerbed, a blue jay
calling his warning from the fence. Roots
emerge from the earth, liberating worms
and millipedes from the darkness. Up comes
stem after stem, sweet fragrance persisting
as sweat traces my spine. Up come the struggles
of my parents. Up comes the depression of
my grandmothers. Up come the sins of this
country. Up comes the hunger of the world.
Into the tall brown bag goes everything I pull
up, everything I did not plant but must tend to
before I can nurture my own garden.
Megan Neville is based in Cleveland, Ohio where she teaches English and stares longingly at stacks of unread books that always have to wait until summer break. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island, Barren Magazine, English Journal, Tilde, Moonchild Magazine, and others.