Song of the natives

for Sean Solomon’s Birthday 2013

by West Coast invasive, Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore
(though a resident in Overbrook for 22 years)

We Natives would like to thank you

leaf by leaf and stem by stem —

(Are you really certain you weren’t

born in Bethlehem?)

You whack those interlopers

and smash those rash invaders

and snip in the bud with a heavy thud

those vegetable corporate raiders

They might twine and wrap around

and squeeze us natives out

but I’m sure when they hear you coming

they wheeze out a warning shout

But then like Johnny Appleseed

(who may not have even existed)

you plant what’s pure and original

before those green trash ever visited

Or birds dropped seeds from elsewhere

but from very far away

while the shores of Gitche Gumee

began to lose their sway

Then there’s that French accomplice

a very dubious Apache
who works with you in the underground
or above ground in a sash

She often poses in photos

with one of our native kind

and her wily smile lights up a mile

of vegetation entwined

So that little by little and leaf by leaf

the woods return to normal

and we can thrive and come alive

while the seasons dress in thermal

And so we grace our pathways

going back and forward in time

just like your own Birthday
once begun now ongoing in rhyme

or without rhyme

Or reason either!

At forty-three

you can take a breather!


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