by Mariel Boyarsky

“They’re weeds,”
my father explained, strangling
three dandelions in his fist.

I had thought that weeds
were ugly brownish stalks, like
skinny blades of dead grass.

These were clearly flowers.

They belonged away
from my father’s sweaty fist
where they looked limp,
choked, and tired.

I imagine them back in the earth,
in a nest of dirt and grass,
their bright heads winking at the sky
like miniature sunflowers.

I imagine clearing away the other weeds
that grow around these flowers.
I imagine watering them,
caring for them, and admiring their
cheerful yellow petals outside my window.

I even imagine planting one in a pot,
to be placed by my bed
and looked at every morning.

It is explained to me
what a weed is:
a flower that was not planted
on purpose.

What I want to know is:
what is a gift?

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