Mint

I always knew mint was the enemy. Growing against the raised beds, with garlic and beans inside. Pond in the background.

Mint was an enemy in the way the juncos would peer under the leaves to check if the big jays were still at the feeder. Mint was the enemy same way the bear would come out of the ravine and drink from the pond and go away without saying or doing anything.

Mint came for us in early mornings. When the ghosts were still in the low sky and the sun was gone behind the trees.

I can’t say I see mint the way my son did when the teacher said his learning was disabled and he said no the world is wrong.

When my granddaughters come to the house and pull mint for me, stacking it in big flavorful piles by the feeders and the swings, and when they make it into tea, boiled on our stove, whether there is a fire or nor, they sing of mint’s praises, the soothing character it develops down the throat with honey.  

There are points in the winter where I stare at the hard ground and wonder where mint is. Where it is creeping, planning, stretching. Inside. When the gophers burrow through the drifts, and the drifts get so high one must listen for oncoming traffic, I see mint in the icicles, dripping on my canvas jacket.

I will make no peace with mint. Not until my bones have turned to soil and roots make me into mint. Then will I unfocus on mint’s vivid contradictions and ask mint to calm, come, sit by me, and watch the herons fish.