VERDICT - Invasive species 

Two poems.

By Jamie O'Hara Laurens. Illustrated by Zoe Keller.


Swamprose and alumroot hold fast to redhook.
Trillium, foamflower and bloodroot creepstep
and list across crevassed pavement.

Jack-in-the-pulpit foot-holds rootholds.
Maidenhair tosses blossoms, and fistfuls
of glorious overtake park lots.

Concrete may win the battle, but                                                              

Field will win the war.


Oust with the heath wren & poppies.
Windhover & sparrow are pest & cided.

Roots are browbeaten where my trowel hits, tiresome.
To species thrushed & troubled
this spring is fearsome— flushed, even. 

Early weeds move in. The air grows thin,
& the beatback game goes on.  

Railing against stone, that habitual conviction
of need finger-counts the coefficients
of friction. I am a creature unbidden, and worse,

How to outsmart, how to outgrow
my own shadow, as it lengthens on the ground?

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Jamie O'Hara Laurens lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she teaches, translates, writes, and forages for tiny miracles of nature with her five year-old marvel.





Zoe Keller is an illustrator exploring the intersection of art making and the natural sciences. Using graphite and ink, she creates highly detailed drawings that blend hints of narrative with images from the natural world. She is currently based in Portland, Oregon.

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