Weeding in the Time of Covid-19

Hand cradles rose

Weeding my garden
and thinking of friends I can't see.

Lily of the Valley, I adore your sweet scent,
but don't threaten the hydrangea bush
or the portulaca.

"This far and no farther,"
I tell my vigorous growers.

Morning Glory, you are glorious,
but not tangling the vinca.

And Vinca — you mass of darling blue faces —
no trailing over the pavers!

I dig and pull and toss into my bucket
leaf tips delicately descending to points
and their tough white roots.

Feathery inch-tall fans of Queen Anne's Lace
I banish to the brush pile.
Your monstrous mothers almost
killed my roses last year.

Ivy and I
have no conversation at all
as I rip and tear and hurl
except a grudging, "Thank you" for
choking out weeds.

I didn't mean to
break off these froths of fern.
I hope I didn't hurt my friend
who wanted to socialize with no mask.