by Nathalie Buckland

from All The Way Home

Lantana eats me
in my dreams.
Its aromatic leaves
creep and grasp.
Sandpaper stems
pull beads of blood
from cringing flesh.
Its flowers mock me
pinkly, prettily.

It leaps
surprising me
from among innocent herbs,
drowning the scent of basil.
It hides beneath
the weeping mulberry,
then brashly shoots
head high.

My heavy weapon,
yellow dozer,
It roars with diesel breath,
tramples with metal tracks,
wrests lantana from trees,
piles it up and rips out roots.
The soil is left
pristine and bladed smooth.

The smoke spirals high
lantana’s funeral pyre,
my victory,
its ashes fertiliser
for tamer plants.

I scatter grass seed,
diligently water,
and watch
knowing the tender first shoots,
succulently green,
inevitably will be lantana.