Charmed Was My Town
Charmed was my town,
Thermopylae, of fickle elves
when he crept in unnoticed
(it’s true that I dwell carelessly)
and took advantage of neglect
to gain a beachhead and then spread
with Plantain, Crab and all the rest
of these deep-rooting hordes.
He came with gold of dandelion,
Creeping buttercup and Lesser Celandine
while other of that vigorous crew:
Creeping Charlie, Slender Speedwell
Field Bindweed, Yarrow and Clover
in cavalries of yellow, white, blue
and infantries of purple hue
soon overwhelmed my wondering
until the healthy grass was gone.
Hoodwinked bees did not take sides
nor butterflies between the weeds and cultivars
for nectar’s all the same to them
regardless of the source.
Nor did the ants erect defensive mounds
or Black-eyed-Susan’s phalanx
guard the pass with golden shields
(they’re turning now to tarnished brass).
White grubs were complicit too
in only gnawing grass roots and not weeds.
So who could blame the child in me
of ignorance, wonder and naivety.
Perversity confounded these capricious selves.
They’re leaving by the scarlet bushes
where perhaps the leprechauns in autumn
cast off their fading clothes.
I watch them weeping as they go.