Emerald Ash Borers Branch out from Ash Trees

The emerald ash borer considers its options,
now that it has eaten all the ash trees, or
they have been preemptively cut down, burned,
a funeral pyre for all the emerald ash borers
still left within. The emerald ash borer never
thought it would have to start over like this
in midlife, develop a taste for something called
a fringe tree, which it never noticed before,
so enmeshed was it in boring through ash. But
as it turns out, fringe trees taste pretty good,
all things considered, and the emerald ash borer
thinks it could easily complete its life cycle
within one, if it came down to that–which it
very well may. But this will not really affect
the forest diversity in New Jersey
, says
an entomologist, with confidence. After all,
the emerald ash borer would never target
forsythias or lilacs, those shrubs not having
enough meat on the bones, so to speak.
Looking back, the emerald ash borer has no
regrets about how it’s made its living–it can
only move forward, finding new trees to girdle
with its larvae, another generation to find
its way somehow, as we all must. As we all do.

For the PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 9. Prompt: A poem inspired by a news story. Here’s the one I used.


3 thoughts on “Emerald Ash Borers Branch out from Ash Trees

  1. Marilyn,

    I am the “discoverer” of emerald ash borer in white fringetree. I had seen your poem a while ago and I love it! You really got the essence of the story.

    Recently, I learned of a “Zine” being published at nearby Antioch College, with an upcoming theme of “Invasives” for one of the issues. This is the sort of work that would be perfect for this effort. Are you interested in publishing it there? If so, I can get you in touch with the editors. I have already cited your poem in one of my talks.

    Cheers, Don Cipollini

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