I ran there today
in one of those moments of euphoric need.
I wanted to see the view they told me was so appealing.
I ran there today,
and even though I was accompanied by several strangers,
they were invisible to my eye,
so the lake’s peaceful atmosphere wouldn’t escape me
as sweet classical music whispered melodies in my ear,
a solitary canoe sent soft ripples from its path,
and eyes locked on a view framed by the most beautiful mess of weeds
on top of the hill where I stood.
“This was so much prettier last year.
They need to mow this whole hillside.”
I guess those melodies weren’t whispering loud enough
if I could hear an invisible stranger’s voice.
I loved those weeds.
You know when you see a cluster of friends together
and just by looking at them,
you know that they each have a sense of belonging in that group?
I don’t remember what that feels like.
There are pieces of me that fit into separate puzzles,
but I have not found the one that rounds with each curve
and shifts with each edge so perfectly that I am secure.
So when I look at these weeds,
I understand them,
and even though they are spiritless beings,
I can relate to them in a way I have never related
to someone of my own kind.
I am not a gentle flower
that must be nurtured to growth and bloom.
I am the white dandelion you picked from a patch of grass as a child
so you could almost effortlessly blow every seed into the wind,
scattering me in so many directions that my personas
fall far from my roots,
no two of them planting close together.
I felt too goody two shoes for the theatre department,
too eccentric for the fitness nerds,
too simple for the city-lovers,
and too urbane for the country.
though you may think these weeds are chaotic
these weeds are life,
and they echo our time here
far better than the flowers or grass you desire.
We are not clean;
We are wild,
and aching for the love of our onlookers,
when oftentimes we are ignored.
I whisper the words
“I love you”
into absent air
just to remember what it sounds like
coming from my lips.
The silence I hear in reply is a reminder
that my words ricochet off of the walls
and back to me,
bouncing off of my ear’s bass drum
a beat that lets me know I am okay,
but this beat is one that most can’t follow.
within me are two opposing existences,
both equally me,
but different nonetheless.
I am not emotional,
but I feel all of life’s idiosyncrasies deep within me:
the light that peeks through my blinds as I wake in the morning,
the solitary solidarity of a morning run when the town is still asleep,
the sound of nature’s white noise,
the crunch of autumn leaves and twigs beneath my feet…
I feel these things,
and my heart swells with a sense of liberation with each experience,
though I have not yet been liberated.
We may not be pretty to you.
We may not be cultivated.
You may think we are competing with your ideal aesthetic,
but we are just trying to make it through this tangled life
alive and well,
while the rest of the world attempts to rid itself of us.
Little do you know that we are your backbone.
We are your strength.
We are independence.
We are beautiful.
Don’t mow us away.