I used to love the buddleia,
its long purple trumpets in summer
buzzing with hummingbirds and butterflies,
until someone told me it was common,
invasive, a weed —
its withered flower cones
spilling armies of seedlings
to colonize the neighborhood.
Then I was embarrassed to have loved it.
I began to see its offspring sprouting
everywhere, hated how they rooted
between loose bricks, flourished
from cracks in the sidewalk.
So I cut mine back to nothing,
buried the broken stump —
only to find it returned
the next spring, multiplied.
And though I hated it
then, a part of me wanted it
to live. So I resolved to remove
the spent flowers, trim the branches.
Each autumn its size diminished,
and each spring an open
relaxed shape returning.
Its abundance held in check.
And now I love the buddleia
again as before,
but by second nature —
as one who returns to the garden
after the fall.