Uprooted

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I uprooted a shrub at my grandmother’s today
and it really didn’t want to go.

It had the resilience of wood, yes
and the tenacity of a planted heart
(fibrous veins pump more slowly)
but it was also more resourceful
fighting back more coarse and forceful
than I ever expected from a vegetable.

It rallied every trick of nature.
Fought against me root and claw
old branch, new shoot, prickle-leaf and more.
Attacked me with its nettle neighbours,
trip-slip-stung me to the floor
aching
and knowing absolutely what the mud must think of me.

Its defences ran deep, see
but I was determined too.
Siege-ready they were, my forces
well-trained in the art of undermining.

I planted foot on trunk and pushed it
I planted foot on spade and shunted
down
I planted foot on spade and hand on trunk
and pushed and heaved and grunting, sunk
until I rip-tore it with a cracking;
pebbles, worms from the soil a-bleeding
crumbling
a knotted trophy in my workshop glove.

A prize
ripe for re-planting.

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