“Dandelions,” pastel on paper, by Jean-François Millet, 1868.

by Art Nahill

Kneeling amidst
the camellias, roses
culling the self

sown from the cultivated
the disdained
from the highly-regarded

I’m reminded
how circumstance
defines us

how one man’s weed
is another’s fancy
given an enticing name:

Ladies’ Petticoat

Wandering Mountain-mist

and tended where it suits
the prevailing aesthetic
or fills some nagging need;

in this plot of ours
there is no place
for the unruly

pushing up through
pampered soil, the gray
husk of concrete path

that low thrum
of wildness a song
we once would have hummed.

omega man

Art Nahill is an American writer and physician currently living in New Zealand. He is the author of the chapbook What Death Would Be Without Us and the poetry collection A Long Commute Home. His work has appeared in Poetry, Harvard Review, Rattle, Portland Review, and Poetry New Zealand, among others.