(By Paul A M Palmer)
"There's only one way to kill it:
You have to dig it out."
It's what they recommend,
The locals: they have the knowledge.
Scrape and scrape the top, spade against
The turf and tufts of lichen and moss.
“You have to deepen the trench and then
Scrabble and search for the roots.”
Black and brown in the soily ground
Its fibrous tubes and tendrils hide.
It's what they recommend, the locals,
But it somehow returns.
Even in clay it can survive the culling,
Fighting its way back to the top.
A neighbouring allotment, untended,
Lets it fester and plot its survival.
Mare's Tail, used to bind the mounds of
Earth for the castle's moat and bailey;
To keep the soil solid against the
Water that surrounds the keep.
It’s just like a regret or a grudge:
You have to dig it out to kill it dead.