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By Jeanne Yu

I am the unwanted


and suns

of your backyard’s

greener grass:

jagged leaves, dente de lion

a humble healing

for the chaotic curses

of the world


I give you

more vitamin A

        than spinach

more vitamin C

        than tomatoes

vitamins K, E, iron,

magnesium, potassium

and calcium. 

You give me



I lived for

Egyptians removing toxins,

Greeks boiled as a side dish,

Romans to combat scurvy,

Japanese tempura,

Chinese to heal

        the liver –

and in one single century,

you cancelled me

into a weed.


Shade me or pull me

if you must,

but please do not

make me the poisoned



I will not give up

on you, my roots

still aerate the earth,

concoct nectar

for bees and butterflies,

and seeds for the birds.

Jeanne Yu is an emerging poet, a lifelong environmentalist, an engineer, a mom and a backyard chicken farmer, who completed her MFA at Pacific University in January 2023. She was a semi-finalist in Rattle’s poetry contest and her poems appear in Rattle 78.  Jeanne volunteers for Oregon Poetry Association, Perugia Press and currently serves as the assistant poetry editor for Northwest Review.

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