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We think that we know what a weed is;
It’s wild, it’s a nuisance, a pest.
It comes out of nowhere, determined to grow where
We’ve planted the rarest and best.

All gardeners know of the villains
Like bindweed, and other such horrors,
That ruin our labours by strangling their neighbours,
Behaviour as foul as Gomorrah’s.

But other plants, too, have their vices -
Does sin pre-exist in the seed? -
And one that has spread to a neighbouring bed
We may rightly consider a weed.

The grass in our lawn is pathetic;
To get it to grow is a bitch.
But there in the border, though quite out of order,
It’s green and abundant and rich.

And where did those violets come from?
I’d never have planted them there.
They’re pretty enough, but invasive and rough,
And they’re seeding themselves everywhere.

The geraniums keep misbehaving;
The blue ones, it seems, disappear,
While those sugar-pink blighters that fail to delight us
Proliferate year after year.

And as for our blue periwinkles
(The profligate, reprobate Vinca),
Wherever I look, they have filled every nook,
Growing stragglier, wilder, and pinker.

Campanulas, too, are a problem;
We planted a small group of three.
First a pool, then a river - and now, with a shiver,
I stare at a limitless sea.

These marauders, these trespassing beauties,
Have become an unstoppable bevy.
Though my verse may be light, it’s a sobering sight,
And my heart, I assure you, is heavy.