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Ode to My Back Yard

From the Newark Evening Star, May 11, 1914. By Mary Dobbins Prior.

O thou unpromising collection of rocks and roots and clay,
I view thee with a sinking heart—is there perhaps a way
To make thee bloom? I doubt it. Upon thy sterile breast
I’ve scattered soil and nitrate, but thou’st withstood the test.
One crop alone thou yieldest me, one crop alone succeeds;
The winds of Heaven plant it. ’Tis weeds and weeds and weeds.
Weeds of the field and wayside. Weeds of the wood and street,
They flourish like the bay tree, within thy eighty feet;
And when across the ocean the wind of Winter roars,
It bears upon its pinions rare weeds from foreign shores;
And scorning all the neighbors, straight to my yard they fly,
And raise a brood of children that never, never die.
Ah, no! They’re all immortal, and blow it cold or hot
’Tis all the same, both wild or tame, they’ll grow in my back lot.

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