Kim Roberts is the author of five books, most recently Animal Magnetism, winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize (Pearl Editions, 2011), and the anthology Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC (Plan B Press, 2010). She has been a writer-in-residence at 14 artist colonies, and individual poems of hers have been published in journals beginning with every letter of the alphabet, and have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Mandarin. She edits the journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly and co-edits the web exhibit DC Writers’ Homes. Her web site:www.kimroberts.org.
THE INVASIVE WEED SYNDICATE
A rude ring of lobed leaves cling
to the bottom of the stem, and from this stage
the actors rise in heart-shaped pods
and strip to white petticoats by the open road.
A ratchety stem with spiny leaves splays;
at the top of each spear, a green gumdrop
garbed in angry spikes wears a hot pink Mohawk,
and the bees hone in and get drunk.
Tight oval buds covered in a coarse white beard
pop open to reveal a tiny white flower
like a loose corona following the sun.
Little prospector: beware the claim jumper.
Leaves like elongated spoons climb,
alternating, left and right, as if marching
in single file. The buds droop at the top
as if from shame. So much
is beyond our control.
Tri-corner stems shoot from underground tubers,
a deep blackish-red, that tunnel
under the crops. This mission is a go:
pulling them up leaves the nutlets behind,
pulling them just makes it worse.