“Heavy Soil” by Madison Hart

I don’t need you, 

Just like you don’t need me. 


It’s too easy, anyway, and impossible for me to be 

After tending to the garden. 

Among the hidden brush were lush patches  

Of freesia that had been overrun by 


A faint lingering haze ambled low to the ground among the  

Delicate petals, trodden and veiled amid  

The mutiny, dying at the hands of nature’s aggressor. 


I tried to pull the weeds out myself, but 

They never stopped growing and 

Every season the freesia grew 

The weeds did too. 

The misty dew only fueling its coup.  

And together they multiplied 

Never one deprived as if they needed the other to 



And we both hated it. 

And we both wanted to rip up the entire plant altogether, just 

To make it stop because what worth was the earth if it required  

Such tending? 


For a long while my mother killed every house plant she ever owned. 

Then, she started nursing succulents for my sister. 


We should have planted succulents. 

They’re harder to kill. 


But we never planted the freesia, mind you, they just appeared one day. 


And when you palmed the roots with the meaty part of your hand, 

Your pinky grazing the dirt to get a proper grasp beneath 

That poor, ugly, disfigured plant, 

I cried because I wanted to keep it. And it pours  

Knowing I asked for this, knowing I’m stuck with it now. 

Knowing you know just as well as I how to keep that thing beautiful and alive. 


And you could do it without me. 

And I could do it without you. 

Because you don’t need me, 

And I don’t need you, either. 

And one day maybe I’ll finally get rid of that ugly shrub. 

When all your energy is but a faint 

Fog, I long to feel in my face again. 

Aching for you to cover my whole body like  

Blunt smoke. Wrapping me in an opaque hug 

A safe space, 



I trust you. 

Just like you don’t need me 

I don’t need you.