between the cracks

once on impulse, i planted a hollyhock seed
in a crack between flagstones
near the spigot, where the swamp cooler
dripped erratically in the summer.
the first spring, it put up
four small sturdy leaves,
and i watered it whenever i remembered.
that winter came new love and large changes,
and what with it all, i moved away
leaving the hollyhock to live or die in that crack.
most of the rest of the garden
died of inattention.
two years later, i drive down that street
and glance by reflex toward my old front door,
and i can’t even see it
for the height of that deep green hollyhock,
big leaves bushing up from the flagstones,
not just alive,
but thriving.

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