Teasel

Teasel is what is called a “noxious weed.”  Spiny throughout, from leaf to stem to seed pod, it grows tall, branches out, and lasts through winter as a brown, hollow version of itself. Even as I trample it, it catches and tears at me, scratching my hands, pulling at my boiled wool jacket, yanking my hair.  It shreds holes in my garbage bag, too, forcing me to abandon my trash-gathering task earlier than planned, but it’s hard to resist venturing into the thistle, when tattered plastic flaps from its bones like a poor man’s banner.

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