NUTGRASS

 

Even the chickens leave it alone, pecking
the yard bare everywhere else. You’ve tried
everything to knock it down, root it out—
poison, fire, prayer—still March comes
and with it the hard heads crowning, pushing
aside your careful cultivations.

You sit in the chair your boys built you,
your hand to your belly, distended not with life
this time—pain blooming, seed pods pressing,
roots reaching toward the salted cradle where
not so long ago newly sketched fingers
held your shared blood tight.

Love and betrayal—you can admit it now—
thrive in the same turned soil.

 

Jeff Ewing has had work published in ZYZZYVA, Catamaran, Willow Springs, Beloit Poetry Journal, Subtropics, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Cherry Tree, among others. His debut poetry collection, Wind Apples, was released in 2021 by Terrapin Books.

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