a man clearing a hillside.
He’d weed-whacked a large plot,
but in the center of the cleared space,
he left a patch of black-eyed Susans.  

Sometimes I am the man, determining
how to tend the soil of my choices.  

Lately, I’m the flowers,
hoping in the midst of  destruction
that even when my story, my very name, conveys pain,

some attentive person will extend mercy,
let live bruised beauty  

so I can grow unhindered,
draw in butterflies,
or just stand, defiant and beautiful in a June breeze.