That it’s the last day of August reminds me of my mother being completely focused on pulling the weeds. It was what she needed to do but it took me years to understand why.

Red's Wrap

In the hottest part of the summer

August when our lawn turns brown

Unwatered and drier than sand

My mother pulls weeds

Working her way up one side

And down the other of the gravel driveway

Pulling each dandelion growing along the

Edge of the straw of our lawn and the stones

Inching along, taking every blade

Moving stones to reach the roots

Baking in the unwatered heat

Wishing for more weeds

I see her from the road

Bent over the current weed

Her back and arms browner each day

The seam of the driveway straight and hairless

In the back, my dad is mowing

A sound of enterprise

Our household at work

I join my mother at the edge

Pulling weeds, moving down the line

She says nothing, but repeats my work

Finding the strands left behind

Digging under the stones for the roots

Wishing for more weeds


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