Though there is / the buttercup war I keep waging, kneeling

A photo illustration of a black-and-white headshot of poet Rhea Tregebov against a background with three different shades of purple.

I describe my woes to my friend, the pro, genius
of a plot greater and finer than my own big old garden
where everything grows into everything else. Definition,
she tells me. That’s what I need. I was defined

by a cold place, a time when summer was brief and
brilliant. By a house of enough in a neighbourhood
of just- and not-enough. Pink petunias and orange marigold,
a red rose or two. But here, too much. Too much moneywort

invaded by stonecrop inveigled by barrenwort entangled
with leopard’s bane. Besotted, greedy, jealous
to save every bloom, leaf, for me this more than
enough isn’t too much. Can’t yank a stem

I call flower not weed. Though there is
the buttercup war I keep waging, kneeling
on stones like a penitent, cursing their stubborn
fecund being. But what’s the difference between

flowers and weeds? Peter, at eight, enlisted as foot soldier,
asks. Pull everything up and what comes back
is weed, my dad in his heyday would kid, neatly
defining invasive. Define need. Define enough.

My friend tells me I need to learn to say no
to ferns sprouting in the daylilies, to sweet woodruff
infiltrating hosta. Need to define what it is I want,
what I keep, love, let flourish. I want too much.

Rhea Tregebov
Rhea Tregebov is an award-winning poet, novelist and children’s author. Her eighth book of poems, Talking to Strangers, will be released in Spring 2024.