sally rhubarb

Posted: 12/27/2013 in house of blues, house of love, house of women

see me sitting in the japanese bamboo out

way beyond the pool, the patio, the weirdly green grass outside the french doors.

i got one of your man’s little whiffle golf balls and i made a doll of it–

ain’t she pretty?

see me.


got your gardener trying to kill the knotweed, but hey,

when the tennis court cracks and heaves up from the bamboo roots beneath,

he’ll take to drink and stop showing up for work.

see me sitting here, waiting in the stalks.

see my wild red hair and the way i smile.

see me.


a night will come when the gin won’t work.

then you’ll leave the security system off and i’ll be there

with a kamikaze white bandana around my head

and i’ll stay until the rising sun.

then i’ll disappear; you’ll never see me again,

and the tiger stick will be all you’ll have to cure the ache that i’ll leave behind.


this is my revenge,

my red-haired air raid, my way of getting you back

for all the times you thought you were too good,

too straight,

too rich,

too sophisticated

to blink your designer edition eyes and

see me.


for Hannah’s Transforming Fridays challenge at Real Toads. I have written about Japanese bamboo (fallopia japanica), which is not true bamboo but bears the name, as well as others like sally rhubarb, tiger stick and knotweed. It is considered an invasive species and is extremely hard to eradicate, as my old neighbor discovered when he tried to kill the grove that stood behind both our houses. Me, I watered mine and loved on it like it was my baby. My small dog Alex used to go back in there and hang out, like he was king of the bamboo forest. He was!

  1. Who wouldn’t be cheering for this flame-haired kamikaze waiting in the stalks, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting stuck up femme fatale?

    I love all the names for your bamboo, and how you worked them into your lines.

  2. hedgewitch says:

    I love it when coal goes long–sitting in the bamboo thicket with her whiffle voodoo doll and her mad red hair..I also especially enjoyed your notes at the end-(-I was thinking tiger stick was some new drug slang I was too unhip to know.) This is cold,single-minded, ripping good stuff, and I have a feeling its the kind that spreads.

  3. grapeling says:

    what’s a weed, anyways? i’d venture most of us penning these stray bits, are weeds to those designer edition eyes. can totally see the narrator sitting in wait, maybe a tiger in the shadowed stripes. or a king dog. ~

  4. A botany lesson along with a searing poem…

    Love it.

  5. Mama Zen says:

    This is entirely too cool.

  6. I love that this brought out the Coal Black in you!

    I’m also glad that you brought in these different names for bamboo and then imbued each one with rich personality.

    Love your little dog, Alex, King of the bamboo forest!

    Thank you for writing!

  7. I sometimes think that weed is anything that thrives without help. Gardening is about hard work.. So weed has its purpose…

  8. dani says:

    we all want to be seen… unfortunately, most of us can’t do the kamikaze thing and none of us could do it like you, Coal.

  9. Helen says:

    Sheer awesomeness!

  10. Marian says:

    plant some kudzu out there to take care of that bamboo. not that Red needs any help.

  11. Kay Davies says:

    So glad I get e-mail notices when you join us, Ms Coal. Might miss you otherwise.
    Loved this. It’s true, we do all want to be seen, to have our existence acknowledged, and most of us can’t bear the people who think they’re too good to look down their expensive noses at us.
    Luv, K

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s