Thursday, March 16, 2017

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Sunny, fifty-seven degrees, and I’ve been wiggling a fine crop of shepherd’s purse out of our garden space before it goes to seed. It might seem strange, just a few hours after receiving another inch and a half of rain, but the plot is so heavily mulched with manure and leaves, that the roots came free with little effort. And shepherd’s purse is that way anyway, exchanging a tenacious root system for the humorous ability to pop seeds in your eye at the slightest disturbance. This has happened to me simply walking along the sidewalk. When those seeds are mature, watch out. But these plants, lush and green as they were, had just broken into bloom — I didn’t notice any scent, by the way, although there was the occasional slug hiding out at the base. And on the concrete nearby, there are the prints left behind by leaves from our delicate, lacy green maple. Like a fossil record, they are, some of them so veined and real that when you bend down and try to pick them up, you realize they are only a print. And it’s obvious to me that we need teams of children working on these finds, dusting them, brushing them, picking at them, and arranging them whichever way in the DNA of their cloud-betrothed minds. Before it’s too late. Before they think they have to go out and buy insurance. This is important. Send them right over. I will supervise. Never fear — children like me. That is, they humor me. By which I mean, they understand, and they sympathize. Then again, so do you. I hope.

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