REQUIEM FOR BURR CLOVER

I rip them up by the roots, they are the only plants 
I hate though to be honest it's mostly because 
I need an excuse to put my phone away. I am weary 

of the virus, the clean hands they tell us to maintain 
I want black half-moons beneath my nails, I want 
my arms and legs to ache from exertion, not from fever 

from improvements I can measure, each square foot 
without burr clover a victory I can stand inside and 
celebrate. Everything seems okay outside, bees hover 

in the lemon tree, lovesick wrens weave nests 
in the eaves, earthworms slick the clot of soil 
I've torn free. Only the burr clover weeps. 

I try to stop my ears, to justify the genocide: it's my 
yard and you'll take over, I tell them. Your burrs lodge 
in my cat's tail. You choke the flowers, you're ugly 

you have no medicine to offer me. But I see the plant's 
tenacity, the star-sprawl of its open arms, ingenious 
coils, corona of hooks on each burr, tender leaves of three.   

Angel of death pass over, the clover pleads. We drink 
rain and eat sun same as anything, anyone.  What can
you know of medicine? Life is more than seed. 

E. D. Watson

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