Riggwelter #30

Page 22

The weed

It is quiet on their back porch. They overlook a small patch of grass butted against a red desert. Mountains in the distance and small developments creep in from all directions. Before long it won’t be so peaceful. Small families moving in mean small children. Small children mean noise. Now it's just coyotes and windsound. Sometimes rain and with it thunder. Those nights are their favorites. The crash and excitement against their solitude. At the edge of the grass, before their world slopes down into another, a tall grey weed sways. Neither of them remember it being there the day before. Just beyond it are cactus and sage and bright flowers of the desert. “If we’re not careful,” he says. “That weed’ll take over our whole yard. It’ll get into the foundation.” She smiles and nods. “They grow so damn fast,” He says. “A constant battle,” She agrees. “I better get it before it turns to seed,” He says and stands. “It’s nearly midnight,” She says. He sits back down for half a breath and gets up again. “It won’t take me but a minute.” He grabs his gloves; old cracked leather, formed to his hands. He grabs his tool. A makeshift thing he made himself for battle. An old, white-oak shovel handle, wrapped at one end with cloth and twine for grip, and at the other, a two-pronged metal blade. Perfect for weeding, he says, or hunting seals, he jokes. He makes his way across their patch of grass and plucks up three dandelions as practice. Expertly. Masterly. The