A man bends toward the edge
of a new-mown lawn, his beard
bright white beneath a lowered straw hat.
Slowly, surgically, he trowels weed
after weed from its city park moorings.
Sometimes he holds a particular grass
to the afternoon sun, admiring the nimbus
around delicate fronds and seed pouches.
Then he lays it down among other fallen kin
in a burlap bag at his feet.
My grandmother picked burrs from our
sweaters when I was a child.
She’d lift them to the light, pull them apart,
examine their design, say, as if for the first time,
“Every seed a work of art.”
She did the same with stars, touching each one,
pulling it down for a moment from its garden
of constellations, her eyes bright with their shine.
Near the poison plant
grows the healing herb.
Their roots braid
in my ground.
I will make a brew of them,
pour it in a cup.
It will tell me
on my tongue
the taste of how I love,
how I kill.