"Roots and Weeds" - Emily Gundlach

Roots and Weeds
(Emily Gundlach)

Is every word so intentional 
that it must ring out like gunfire – buckshot
scattered across the hide of the intended kill?
Even now, curse words dropped like miniature bombs
-the irony of a classroom discussion on female power
and the patriarchy
being led by the sons of the daughters of the revolution 
is inescapable-
maybe this language is no snare but rather
remnants of a life pulsing between dingy bar walls
absorbing beer breath and cuss words all the same to her
middle of the afternoon drunk, wearing warm
around the middle

Late in the day, face upturned toward window pane
sunlight is poured against the glass, spills golden 
on our faces, but 
we are cold
Stunted growth presses against the ceiling
Why give us this much sun but not enough room to grow up toward it?
are we not meant to turn our faces toward the light?
Must every revolution start with rebellion?
I think God has no need for punishment
no hierarchal system of shame, consequences meted out
no God, no father, no Son, no holy ghost of conquering terror

A tenacious, dumb grasping of root toward grain of earth
has brought me this far
sniffing the air, refusing flower
pricking hands that grasp through greenhouse gloves 
with professed knowledge despite the barrier of skin
the bondage of a sexual dichotomy, the bone crunching boldness of answering every unasked question with authority
I’d rather shatter under blood stained glass of ceiling crash
then bend to garden shears and decorative life
Yes, I choose cramped quarters, the rubbing up against the sweaty backs of strangers, the gasped breath and sip of fresh air through the cracks in the glass as we train all our energy toward the bending of one beam of silent sun into interminable fire.

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