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Broccoli

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I planted these seedlings in March,
Not expecting much-
they were less than an inch tall.
We planted them in these neat little lines.
You marveled at the lack of exactness with which I put them in the ground.
I marveled at how you expected that one could ever control nature.

I’ve taken pictures of these little plants every day.
Some days, this was the happiest moment,
watching them stretch towards the sun,
wondering at their minute differences-
they all started the same, yet some grew wildly faster.
Their growth patterns revealed otherwise invisible slopes in the land,
gradients that altered the path of the water reaching their roots.
A few didn’t make it at all.
I mourned their spot in the line,
Then tried to plant something in their stead.
It died too. The first metaphor.

One day they started looking big. Likely properly big.
I learned I didn’t actually know what broccoli plants look like.
I’m sure it didn’t happen overnight, but
Sometimes it feels like it did.
Bugs started eating little holes into their pristine leaves.

I wanted it to be some kind of metaphor
For the slow growth we’re all doing.
I told people that was the case.
But my broccoli is thriving,
And I’m still the same.
I’m not sure I’ve grown with it.
I suspect the dirt would beg to differ.