· SPRING /FALL 2013 | VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 1 ·

Rougarou, an online literary journal.


Thomas Fox Averill

“Do you want to weed?” asks his wife, and he thinks about what he should say, because first they will talk about where, whether vegetable garden, perennial garden, around the fruit trees, beside the garage, among the honeysuckle bushes, or in the roses along the alley, and she’s liable to bristle because he’s complained often about the hopelessness of getting started when they’ve put off weeding for first one week, then another, for at least a month, and each area is too big, the whole yard and its expectations are too big, and over-planted, and neither of them cares quite enough about it to keep it respectable, as other people seem to find the time to do, and he wonders if they should plow it all up and start all over, or get some professional help, but of course those people use herbicides and pesticides and suggest things neither he nor his wife would ever even think of doing, but maybe they’d have more time then to go out, to walk and swim and visit friends and not worry about what waits for them at home — the weeding, pruning, picking, thinning, the cooking of the vegetables, or drying and canning them, all of it endless, sucking each of them of energy and time, making them discouraged to even think about doing anything at all, and he thinks it might be good for them to just start, to try, even if they didn’t carry all the way through, but he’s tired, and has another long day ahead of him, and so he sighs, says, “I have a headache.”