Acorns: An Invasion


Shatter of autumn wind,
clatter of acorns peppers
a machine-gun fire barrage
across the bow of my deck,
by day, by night,
until I think enough
–surely there are no more
acorns left in the world!

I cannot walk out
without fearing for my life
—layers of oak seeds lie
in wait, to attack, to trip me up;
squads of squirrels lunch
at my picnic table, requisition
the flat-roofed bird house
as their specially reserved place at
Cordelia’s Patio Dining Resort:
the debris of acorn orgies pile up.

When air chills to winter freeze,
I haul in behemoth potted plants:
scheffleras, rubber plants, ficus benjamina
to hug wanly-lit south-side windows,
craning for bits and streaks of sun and hope.
Ruing winter, these viney trees of the tropics,
drop yellowed leaves in protest,
respond only to sympathetic cajolery
—and, what’s this—baby oaks have sprung up
like a platoon of determined sentinels
to garrison my indoor pots? Insidious taproots
sink deep, suck nutrients, hold on tight.

Who says there’s an ecological crisis?
These baby oaks know how to do it!