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Blades of grass under a faint dawnlight

Miracle Weeds

Alahna Vallone

I stare at the faded traffic light,
foot heavy on a tired pedal.
The cars collectively breathe,
and though I was just in their rhythm,
my lungs shift like a broken engine.
I try, again, again, to start.

Hands shake on the peeling leather steering wheel
as I tilt to the edge. Wet tires smush weeds,
grass climb on windows.
Tall greens and lacy petals with powdered centers,
the same weeds that sprouted sparsely
in the backyard of a home I faintly remember.

On those youthful days, damp soil gave way,
scratching my blistered soles.
Sweat wafted around me as I stomped on blades,
air flushing from moist ground. So many small sighs.

The grass did not dare grow where I stepped.
I created a path in the lawn, killing off green grass.
With time, the dead made way for weeds;
daisies sprouted.

To the sun and rain that beamed down,
I scoffed. To a young girl, certain that every step she took
changed the axis the Earth spun on, the flowers grew
for the poor man’s daughter.

Now, I roll down my window,
and an apology drips from my chapped lips
for a mess I did not create.

When I leave the sweat-slick front seat,
I do not touch the weeds
that grow on the edge of the highway,
though I feel my feet stomping, still.

The blame I took so long ago
grows heavier with every step.