Published on: 10/30/2007
My first spring in the old house, the snow melted
and underneath fifty years worth of tenants'
cigarette butts, dog poop, and old-fashioned trash
left by drive-by teenagers, there was the rhubarb.
Property line twenty inches from the house,
eighteen were taken up by rhubarb as proud
as I'm sure the Ferrises were when they built this town
out of dust and when they faced a depression
that made them sell it all save the main house
and the twenty inches on each side, when they sat
on this front porch in long black dresses and toked on opium,
when they pinched pennies between their toes and sold
farm fresh eggs to pay off the wolves, when they planted
the perennial rhubarb. It can't be killed, despite the dogs
and winters and the evolution of a small dirt town, despite
all the Ferrises migrating south, dying off or changing names,
their rhubarb is clean and strong this spring and I just found it.