Our yard is not only ours.
We share it with beautiful, midnight deer,
who gulp windfalls of apricots and also feed here
on peaches, roses, and redwood bark,
destroying without a by-your-leave
the products of trimming, pruning and spraying.
Birds too, poke about, vaccinate
fruit with their beaks,
claiming droits de nature,
while it’s still on the trees, poking
into the soft, ripe flesh,
instinctively knowing just when it is best
and somehow letting all the rest know
when to direct their flight to our trees.
Under the earth the gophers burrow,
tunneling, turning into 3D brown lace the once-solid
earth of our place, feeding their big-toothed faces,
pulling plants underground while nibbling
away on the sweetest, tenderest root of the day.
Why don’t they eat weeds? Why do they
attack garden treasures, the growing things
that give you pleasure? Why don’t they feast on
poison oak, Bermuda buttercups, and those horrible,
neon-green and white, tall, sticky, prickly weeds?
Even our cat nibbles daintily on grass, when he feeds
in the yard, never weeds. Are weeds repulsive like
cod liver oil? Why does he from them recoil?
When I think of the icky, smelly food he covets,
I’m surprised seeing a flourishing weed that he doesn’t love it.