Herbicide to Some Degree

I confess I killed the blanket flower,

snuffed out its autumnal blossoms

petaled in hues of mustard and rust,

brought from the nursery fully quick

but now dead brown out by the walk.

It was not an act of willful murder,

and yet I acknowledge herbicide

by negligence: I know that it handled

its tangled roots much too roughly,

knew even then I was confining them

in too small a pot, the only one I had,

bigger than the nursery container,

but still, I left them no room to stretch

and thrive, unwilling to make the minor

sacrifice of returning to the store

to pay the higher price for a larger pot

and lug home the heavier clay. And

then I fear I might have overwatered

the poor thing as well. Harboring yet

the faintest hope of its resurrection,

I can’t just throw it heartlessly away,

even knowing that the cause is all

but lost. I regret my careless actions

and wish that I could make amends,

but I know a jury of seasoned gardeners

would find me guilty in two minutes.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper

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