Pen to Paper: You’re My Milfoil, Babe

milfoil lurks beneath the surface, it’s not everywhere

but it’s coming, folks

turns out it got into one stream

a smidgen of an inlet

and it’s spreading, lake-wide alert

if you protect yourself now, protect it all,

this water’s still not pure

each time a boat chops up those bad boys,

slices through some algal bloom

they separate joyfully, selfish and eager

multitudes spread to suppress

the dissolved oxygen of some other innocent trout

maybe it’ll be best when the lake is uninhabitable

so id never have to listen to you say

how lucky you felt, i took you to my favorite place

alone in the woods, we slipped

across the icy expanse in an early spring,

reckless and amused by emergent puddles,

a rush of water sprung to meet your every step

but you said your only concern was kissing me,

let’s let the milfoil have at it

let this lake go, succumb, faster, to the invasive

staring through wooden slats

at aimless goldenrod pollen bobbing in the waves

i was told to capture sunbeams on my skin

for a day when cold has taken root inside me,

my mother believed the memories could heal,

but this algae will outcompete for our sunlight

maybe it’s time to even help it out,

lets stop taking it out in buckets and canoes

i’m suggesting a radical implementation process,

lets dump it in any remaining unwounded place

if we’d done that in the beginning

then i’d never have had to hear

we’re not a real family,

the myriophyllum can stifle it all

the lakes environmental association says:

“invasive plants can drastically alter delicate relationships”

we’re counting on you, milfoil

so no child will have to watch hundreds

of fish delicately leap,

displayed bountiful in moonlight,

iridescent and optimistic, like i did.

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