Jewelweed · Stanford Trail

Beneath the Bloom

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by Judith Mansour

Jewelweed 
Oxymoron of sorts 
Kind of like, you’re pretty 
For a foreign girl, they said 
When you’re not even foreign 
Or maybe you are but what does that matter 
The thing with weeds is that they are not foreign 
Indigenous 
They just crop up 
Like the convenience store your dad never had 
Was accused of owning 
‘Cause he drove a Cadillac 
Had olive skin 

The thing with weeds is that 
They’re healers, sometimes 
Hidden kindness 
Jewelweed soothes 
The relentless itch of poison ivy 
Scratched so much that the skin breaks open 
Starts to bleed 
Generous in sap, zaps the pain 
Like a hug from your mom when  
Your third grade teacher called you a dirty Syrian  
But you weren’t dirty or Syrian

The parks and the woods 
Where you’re encouraged to hike 
The scenic trails 
Pretty with plants and vines and brush 
That you cannot pick or pluck or take 
For fear of fines, steep and harsh 
The cost of living without knowing the rules  
Refined flora, not mixed, cross pollinated  
But all you saw was a tangle of green  
With magnificent petals, buzzing with bees

Jewelweed is fine to satisfy an itch 
After slumming in the woods 
A shoulder to cry on, as it were 
But you’re not to be kept, brought home 
In a crystal vase, a bouquet, God forbid 
With that luscious bloom 
That makes boys chase girls they won’t love for real 
Impatiens capensis 
Irresistible nectar 
Hummingbirds, butterflies  
Lured, seduced by their exotic flesh 
But we know better 
The Pale or Spotted Touch-Me-Not 
Is a weed  
A perennial 
Invasive, intrusive 
Assuming too much

 

 

 

 

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Eastern ForktailLindsay Barba

CoyoteStephanie Ginese

Common MilkweedDelilah McCrea

Showy OrchisBill Newby

American Witch-hazelQuartez Harris

Common CarpDavid Hassler

Common PawpawIsaiah Back-Gaal

MayappleRebecca Wohlever

Common DewberryPeter McWilliams

North American River OtterAnastasios Mihalopoulos

Winter FireflyIsaiah Hunt

Virginia BluebellsBronlynn Thurman

American RobinKari Gunter-Seymour

American CrowJason Harris

Eastern CottontailEros Livieratos

Bald-faced HornetKJ Ceranowski

Poverty OatgrassHaylee Schwenk

Song SparrowVirginia Konchan

Wood DuckDiana Lueptow

Japanese HoneysuckleShei Sanchez

Yellow BullheadTed Lardner

Funeral BellTishon Woolcock

Common DandelionCora Liderbach

WarmouthCamille Ferguson

Snapping TurtleJessica Jewell

SassafrasAndrea Imdacha

Poison IvyMarina Vladova

Pharaoh CicadaCathy Barber

Northern Dusky SlugRay McNiece

JewelweedJudith Mansour

DamselfliesKen Tomaro

BloodrootChad Lutz

KilldeerMary Biddinger

Big Brown BatSujata Lakhe

Barred OwlCourtney Noster

Long-eared OwlMichael Loderstedt

Isabella Tiger MothLeah Graham

American SycamoreMegan Lubey

Water Forget-Me-NotAlyssa Perry

Masked BeesZach Savich

TrilliumKimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson

CrayfishConor Bracken

Great Blue HeronDan Dorman

American SweetgumCaryl Pagel

Painted TurtleRebekah Ainsworth

Green DarnerMarion Boyer

American BeaverKatie Daley

Eastern Screech-OwlDr. R. Ray Gehani

Spring PeeperBarbara Sabol

Eastern Carpenter BeeSylvia Clark

Jacob's LadderRisha Nicole

Candleflame LichenClara Britton

Eastern NewtElizabeth Ryan

American BullfrogLaura Grace Weldon

American ChestnutCarrie George

American GoldfinchMarybeth Cieplinski

American HornbeamJeff Gundy

Artist’s BracketSusann Moeller

Banded Fishing SpiderCharlie Malone

BluegillOlivia Farina

Common Star-of-BethlehemBrita Alaburda

Common StonefliesKaren Schubert

Eastern ChipmunkNathan Kemp

Firefly BeetleJacquie Peoples Dukes

Gray CatbirdTheresa Brightman

Great MulleinLaurie Kincer

Green HeronPaula J. Lambert

HepaticaAmanda Schuster

Interrupted FernKathleen Cerveny

Jack-in-the-PulpitMichael Buebe

Meadow VoleRoberta Jupin

Monarch ButterflyDeborah Fleming

MuskratCatherine Wing

Pearl CrescentMonica Kaiser

Poison HemlockJon Conley

Star JelliesCameron Gorman

Sugar MapleSteve Brightman

Turkey VultureAndrew Gilkey

White-footed MouseMichelle Bissell

White-tailed DeerBenjamin Rhodes

Wild CarrotJessica Jones

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