Wild with spring tenderness,
the woods are blooming with flowers,
but invasive species are on notice.

Long ago, someone named these foreigners:
Silene vulgaris,
maidens’ tears, tender-leafed,
delicious in oil, sautéed in garlic.

Lymus arenarius,
sand-loving lyme grass, so prized
by basket weavers, pickers
earned jail time in 17th century Scotland.

Alliaria petiolate,
garlic mustard, poor man’s nutrition,
richer than kale and spinach. It is
a problem. They say

we will be overrun
by baby’s breath, Gypsophila paniculata,
the tiny, cloud-like blooms on Christmas trees.

Be afraid. These plants play dirty.
If we eradicate these invaders
maybe our hate vanishes too.

By Cheryl Heineman

Cheryl Heineman graduated December, 2017 with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. She also has a Master’s degree in Jungian Psychology and has published three collections of poetry: Just Getting Started, something to hold onto, and It’s Easy to Kiss a Stranger on a Moving Train.