"Who knows whose ideas cross-pollinate?"
When purple flowers grow on your front steps,
don’t look them up to see if they’re a weed or flower.
Who decides who’s a friend or an acquaintance?
Who knows whose ideas cross-pollinate?
The flowers I adore might give you allergies,
make you sneeze for hours because of the pollen,
the way lilies can kill a cat, give you a migraine.
Did someone bring garlic mustard seeds on purpose
or were they stuck on the soles of shoes?
Maybe one day it will serve us well
to know which weeds are edible:
purslane, oxalis, lamb’s quarters.
Sometimes I hear of family members
who didn’t realize that the painter was a genius.
Sometimes we’re not ready to receive the gifts.
We wish we had bought her art when she was alive.
Lucia Cherciu is the author of six books of poetry, including Immigrant Prodigal Daughter (Kelsay Books, June 2023) and Train Ride to Bucharest (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017), which was the winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. Her work was nominated multiple times for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her poems appeared in Poetry, Antioch Review, and elsewhere. She served as the 2021-2022 Dutchess County Poet Laureate and teaches at SUNY / Dutchess. Her web page is http://luciacherciu.webs.com.