Norway maples
English ivy
Himalayan blackberries
Korean dogwoods
knotweed and kudzu

Non-natives spew pollens of beyond
licked up on tiny-leaf tongues.
Human hurricanes uprooted and heaved
flora helter-skelter.
Lawn carpets and landscapes babble
in green and red and yellow foreign dabbles.
The tongue of the strangled invader
thickens but seldom chokes,
dirty never ending work.

Bugs and birds seek any harbor
buried in their genes a yearning for eons-old.
Their Edens are scattered language labs
seeking communion with known.

Children grow up unable to name what belongs where,
     what to eat; what not,
     who spoke locavore first.
need classes to find out what to plant
     to save tree frogs
     attract bluebirds
     feed honey bees
     nectar monarchs and painted ladies.

Vernacular of place
suffers extinction.
Forgetting dialects, we
     greet quince blooms
     sow round up ready corn
     savor the blackberry
     rake the red leaves
that demanded citizenship
these foreign tongues spitting in the breeze.



Tricia Knoll

About Tricia Knoll

I'm a Portland, Oregon poet -- often calling myself an eco-poet because of my passion for the relationships between human and natural systems. My poetry has appeared in over 100 journals. My chapbook Urban Wild is now out from Finishing Line Press. 
See triciaknoll.com for more information.
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