the purple fiddle-head flowers
were pretty at first,
adorning hairy foliage
so we let them be,
a weed, we knew,
yet somehow ornamental

but then the plants turned brown,
leaves sticky and irritating
aesthetically displeasing
so we changed our minds—
got out the hoe

with every scrape—
hundreds of tiny black seeds
and counting . . .
we looked at each other—
this can’t be good . . .

clever botanical sleight of hand—
distract us with purple beauty
until it is too late—
the soil’s seed bank
full of tiny coins
saved for a
rainy day


Poem & Photograph by Janet Ruth

Janet Ruth is a NM ornithologist. Her writing focuses on connections to the natural world. She has recent poems in Oddball Magazine, Tulip Tree Review, The Ocotillo Review, Sin Fronteras, Spiral Orb, Ekphrastic Review, and anthologies including Where Flowers Bloom (The Red Penguin Collection, pending 2022), and Moving Images: poetry inspired by film (Before Your Quiet Eyes Publication, 2021). Her first book, Feathered Dreams: celebrating birds in poems, stories & images (Mercury HeartLink, 2018) was a Finalist for the 2018 NM/AZ Book Awards.