She is no respecter of paths or crops. Her leaves
as sharp as arrows feed no livestock, fill no bellies.
She is an immigrant who keeps her own counsel,
insolently creeping like a snake over your beds.
The blossoms make a dye if you are short of such,
and she can feed you if you’re starving, but do
not bring her to the table often. It’s more apt
to seek her cousin, plentiful buckwheat.
Her pink trumpets are soundless, tempting.
The tattered farmer’s guide suggests selling off acreage
where her roots dive twenty, thirty feet, or barring that,
plow every three weeks, for seven long years.
The hawkmoth calls her love-names unknown,
we’ve also named her bear-binder, creeping Jenny,
bride’s gown, wedlock, devil’s guts. If you are shy
of twine, turn gratefully to her wiry stems.
It’s a lazy husbandman tolerates invasive ways,
and your neighbors will not thank you, either.
She can swallow a spruce tree whole, and the Good Book
instructs, “Do not suffer a witch to live.”
Handled gently, she heals maladies of bladder and bowel,
dark moods, night fears, cancers of the womb.
Her seeds bring visions of other worlds,
perhaps less violent, where pink trumpets hold sway.
Lynda Gene Rymond
Lynda Gene Rymond was born and raised in Bucks County, Pa. She attended Bucks County Community College and received her B.F.A. from The California College of Arts and Crafts where she studied drawing, ceramics, and book arts. A runner-up or finalist for Bucks County Poet Laureate for the last four years, her poems have been published in multiple journals and the anthology, Carry Us to the Next Well (Kelsey Press.) She lives with her husband, painter Charles Browning, on Goblin Farm, where they tend goats, hens, cats, honeybees, and an enormous fruit and vegetable garden.