planting beauty

It’s not the way I usually would have done it
The apple tree sat waiting
In its plastic pot
Roots circling round and round
Without any room to breathe
I wanted ideal ground
But our “back 40” was less than so
Ground ridged by rocks and weeds
A pile of twisted rusty metal
neglected museum of days gone by
A heap of brush sprawled and sticky
like a shock of unkempt giant’s hair
A collection of broken glass, old medicine bottles
and the evidence of beer drunk in secret
A jumble of dirty plastic, torn and tattered
but never decomposing
I wanted to clear away all the ugliness first
Prepare a perfect environment for our darling sapling
A smooth lawn, a clear view, a clean start
But that was more than a few weeks’ worth of work away
I was almost loathe to do it
Behind the brush heap I pulled up weeds and grass
Collected more fragments of the last few decades
We dug a hole in the middle of it all
Sharp spade cutting into red clay
Filled it with rich, dark dirt harvested from the sea
And there
Surrounded by the brackish heaps
of our pioneer work in progress
We planted beauty
And there it blossoms even now
Unfurling roots and leaves, deep and high
Peeking over the giant’s mop top
Waving to the kitchen window
Happy only to be given a place
Yes, I will give up my stifling idealism
And give beauty a place to grow


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