Somewhere,
perhaps,
you are a saint.
No sweet-smelling virtuous angel,
but a rough-and-tumble,
dirty-hands kind of beauty.

However,
in this neighbourhood
you are an outlaw.
You spread your noxious lies,
poison the air,
poke your insidious fingers into every pie.
And
at dawn
we wake to a new master.

Cruel beauty.
I have learned to despise
what I once cherished.
Now that I’ve seen your heart
I will uproot you
without mercy
(except,
perhaps,
from my kitchen vase).

 

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I post this poem with great apologies to Linda and everyone who loves Lantana (especially where it is not an invasive weed). Here Lantana competes with and wins the upper-hand against indigenous species. It is poisonous to both humans and livestock and accounts for a fair number of bovine deaths each year. Lantana also provides shelter to the Anopheles malaria-carrying mosquito.

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