Day 3: Crabgrass is America
Crabgrass is my current personal nemesis. I’ve recently become obsessed with weeding, and crabgrass is the most stubborn and prolific of unwanted plants.
Burrowing my grimy, bloody fingers into the dirt beneath the gravel of my driveway, I couldn’t help but think that crabgrass is an awful lot like America.
Bear with me here.
Crabgrass gets its name because of the long stalks that spider out from its core. As the legs creep ever further, they set down roots along the way. Like racism, homophobia, sexism, and all the other ills of our country, you can’t kill crabgrass by ripping off its legs. If you manage to pull the weed out by its core, you have to be careful not to leave any of those legs with their network of roots behind, or else the motherfucker will just respawn.
Let’s say you manage to uproot the core of the plant along with all of its tricksy tendrils. You come back a week later, and it turns out those roots were deeper and more plentiful than you thought, because new growth is emerging.
Every gardener/activist knows you have to be vigilant, and the fight is never over. Even if you take a blowtorch and burn the whole place down, there’s always a danger that those seeds are just dormant, waiting for the right time to be born again.