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Weed Killing

By Elise Toedt

To kill the weeds in your garden,                                                                                                       mix 1 part chewing tobacco,

            “I can’t believe you make me buy this stuff!” she says, taking her car keys off the hook                and shuffling over to get her clutch. “The sales clerk must wonder how I chew snuff                    without pulling out my dentures.”

1 part mouthwash,

            “I don’t care what he thinks, ” he returns, wincing in her direction. “And make                              sure you don’t buy no brand name mouthwash this time. Wasting our money.”

1 part dish soap,

            She turns to go, but he continues, “by the way, you’ve been using my                                            soap for your dishes lately, haven’t you? That’s why we run out so fast.”

            “It’s our soap,” she retorts— “and they’re our damn dishes.”

and pour it into a watering can,                                                                                                            adding water steadily.             

              “Well if you want food to put on those dishes, you had better stop using my                                  soap.” He’s really snarling now.

Sprinkle your garden with this mixture regularly.

            “I could buy food just as good as what you grow,” she says, making her exit.

This is how you can keep the bugs away without having to use pesticides.

            “Ungrateful bitch!” he calls after her.


Elise Toedt is currently a PhD student at the University of Minnesota in the field of Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on Literacy, Language and Power. In her poetry and in her research, she is interested in what and who silence protects in communal and institutional spaces, particularly in shoring up the constructions of gender, race, and class. Her poems, short fiction, and non-fiction writing have been published in books and online publications, including Teaching Tolerance, Mutuality, and the book Creating a Spiritual Legacy.


Ja Min Yie is a South Korean artist who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. She recently completed a MFA in Painting at the Marchutz School of Fine Arts in Aix-en-provence, France. At the latter she studied the works of Cézanne, whose late watercolors inspired Ja Min’s delicate handling of oils. Working directly from nature, Ja Min strives to capture what is before her as it emerges in the immediate present. The resulting works reveal a reality that is lit from within, its luminosity seen through the shadows of passing forms. www.jaminyie.com