Wildflower

I am not a blade of grass.
I am not like everyone else,
Cut to the same height,
Living shoulder-to-shoulder,
Standing-room-only on the lawn,
Waiting to be walked on.

I am a wildflower,
Growing on the bank
Of a beautiful river.
Swaying in the breeze,
Basking in the sun,
Bobbing in the rain,
Roots spread out,
Reaching for the sky.

If you try to cut me down,
Stomp on me,
Or control how I grow,
You will see my wild side!
I cannot be crushed,
I cannot be stopped.
I will grow and flourish
No matter what,
Because to do so is my nature,
And nature can’t be stopped.

I bloom and grow,
See the river rise and fall,
Sway in the breeze,
Bask in the sun,
Bob in the rain,
Roots spreading out,
Reach for the sky.

purple pasqueflowers

I wrote this poem for a beautiful, Filipino waitress serving me at a local “greasy spoon” restaurant. She was sweet, friendly and efficient. I glanced up and saw her carrying a load of plates, full of food, to a nearby table. She wasn’t “on” in that moment; she wasn’t performing or pretending. She saw me looking at her and a split second passed — of knowing, of shared struggles, of understanding — before she put her smile back on. I grabbed a pen and wrote this on a napkin and left it for her on the table.

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