The Swiss Chard
faithfully hold the southern line,
with little hope of relief, supplies,
or even water from the shiftless
Gardener General back at HQ who
assigned them to this godforsaken
location in the first place.
They hold despite the dandelions,
bold in their numbers, voracious for
territory, spreading their insidious
leaves across the border.
Nor do they succumb to the
exotic beauties of undetermined affiliation
infiltrating the ranks,
opening wide their
delicate white petals, offering
seductive red centers to the sky.
Could be poisonous.
As the days wear on,
the dandelions redouble their efforts,
though the ground is littered
with their uprooted bodies,
drying to dust in the hot sun.
Occasionally a chard is taken prisoner,
surrounded on all sides by yellow-headed
swarms, cut off from comrades.
Patiently, he waits for rescue,
and does not surrender to despair, but
wreaks what damage can be done from
wresting light, water, and food
from hostile hosts.
Tall grasses shoot up as swords
in the midst of the chard compound,
and yet they hold,
until picked for salad detail.