Invasion by Sarah Dunster

I watch April for the breath of life;
stirring roots threading secret ways
through soil. The thrill, when I wake and find
dug garden beds dusted in wild Irish green.
Her crop is more diverse, resilient, more
matched to this soil and these waters
than any I will bring. I turn the earth,
interring new life back into its birth
and fold the dirt around my cup-fed roots
like a swaddling blanket. I coax my seedlings
as they stretch languid limbs for me to
prop and shield from deserving predators.
But She will resurrect, and the natives have
always been tough to kill—wave after
brave green wave claims their land back.
They raise their furious heads and set
their necks against me. I turn the earth again
and again. With May I fall to my knees and
execute them one by one, in favor of my
still-ungrateful progeny, now jailed in cages,
and I hope for harvest worthy of my effort and
the death of a thousand aborigines.

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Sarah Dunster is a loyal contributor to WIZ. For a recent bio and her other entry in Spring Runoff, go here.

*Competition entry*

8 thoughts on “Invasion by Sarah Dunster”

  1. I’m quite taken by all the offerings this year: a strong field promising a fruitful crop. But I like these two by Sarah (this one and Monday’s) because they are so unlike what we’ve seen from her before: there’s a postmodern edge to them, blunt and keen at once, recalcitrant, a sinister Spring. All Harrow’s Eve.

  2. I love this poem. The last line particularly, given my understanding of the history of frontier genocides of indigenous people and my personal fondness for the dandelion, strikes deeply.

  3. I’d like his recipe. I admire most the dandelion’s long taproot and the tenacity for life it allows. No matter what children, bugs, ruminants, chemicals or mowers come to destroy and plague the dandelion, the taproot allows the plant to survive, to recover, to grow back. The seeds on the wind allow it to spread and increase, but the taproot gives it stability and courage, if I may anthropomorphize a weed.

  4. Dandelions are real survivors. I haven’t traveled enough to know… do they find their way into lawns on all 7 continents? (Well, probably not one… unless there are lawny spots on Antarctica I don’t know about).

    Green Smoothie: 1 cup fresh (or frozen) greens, 1 cup frozen or fresh fruit, 1/3 can juice concentrate. Blend with water to desired thickness and flavor (3 cups max.) Serves two.

    A note on the dandelions: try sweeter greens like spinach or kale first, then slowly add increasing increments of dandelion as you grow used to the flavor. The younger the leaves, the better they taste.

    Some good flavor combinations we’ve found:

    Kale+Dandelion+Pineapple
    Spinach+Dandelion+orange/mango
    Spinach+Dandelion+Apple
    Kale+Dandelion+Grapefruit+Apple

    We’re green smoothie evangelists ;)

  5. I remember stepping off the tiny prop jet at the Antwerpen airport as a young 19-year old Know-Nothing, and being shocked and comforted at once that dandelions had preceded my arrival. I learned later that they actually traveled in the opposite direction as I.

    Thanks for the recipe. My wife puts broccoli and cabbage in my smoothies. Sometimes, I add more sugar when she’s not looking, but sugar can’t disguise cabbage very well, I find.

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