There are killer weeds, deep in the flower patch,
down at the bottom of the tombstone.
Only they’ll seem to breed out of the ground itself.

Even when new earth is put in,
or the old earth removed, the killer weeds return once more.
It must have something to do, I think,

with the very nature of the cemetery.
For we’ll see it happening all of the time,
the impatiens or the pansies or the alyssum–

all are eaten away, finally, by the killer weeds…
“They’ll suck the life out of everything,” my sister
tells me, now we’ll stand before our parents’ grave.

“See how they’ll wrap themselves about each green stem
of each new sheet. And spring or summer it is the same.
Perhaps begonias would survive, or maybe

the Gate of Heaven people could tend it for us…
I try,” says my sister, “I try and try,” late at noon,
as together we’ll peer at the gnarled dates on the tombstone.

“Every Sunday, and then twice during the week,
I try, and I destroy, and yet what is the use?…
The killer weeds just never die.”