Luminous yellow globes maligned as ruderals

are a gift from mother- nature for honey bees

and lady bugs and those that like their wine.

Slender stems reach for sun as tiny parachutes

spread snow kids can blow or kick around,

girls can decorate their necks with stems

little fingers can entwine.

As we rip up their roots like mindless

Monsanto’s seed police, tape worms and red

wrigglers wonder if there’s a catastrophic

earthquake on the way.

Rumbling, crumbling clods of earth is more

than worms can bear, collapsing tunnels

as they slither, aerating soil for everyone

upstairs. It’s cold, dark and dank down there,

hard enough to do their work and every now

and then someone digs them up and skewers

them on fishing hooks.

These plants are welcome cooked or raw in salads

or in soup, they’re a tonic for the liver, with more

calcium and carotene than overrated spinach.

A welcome perk: mosquitoes and predatory aphids

run the other way when they sniff their milky sap.

And don’t believe the rumor that kids who touch

them are bound to wet their bed just because some

Brits still call them “pissabeds.”

Why massacre these gentle tufts of saffron

like uninvited infidels, these dainty florets

are hardly lions teeth, they mean no harm,

just wish to share the blaze of noon.

Downstairs’ neighbors dream of one day riding

night crawlers to get a glimpse of sky filled

with shooting stars.