Father Serra brought the seeds from Spain,
scattered them behind on his northbound trek,
a path of yellow mustard to guide him back.
Now men with nozzles spray the hills to kill
foreigners like mustard plants that will
crowd the natives, invaders like ourselves
from long-ago-lands who’ve come to stay
where scattered flowers grew to light the way.
Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook The Belly Remembers, and two full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Nerve Cowboy, the Writer’s Almanac and other publications. She is thrilled to have just retired from teaching English and French in a Los Angeles high school.