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

the inside,

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.



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