A Plague of Cottonwoods

June, and they stand in flowering frustration
at either end of my yard.

Cottonwoods (geneus populus) are gendered
and must be planted accordingly

to avoid the outrage of unspent catkins (desiderium).
I learned this too late to now keep seedpods

sticking to the laundered sheets I’ve strung
to dry between them like a blue provocation.

Their priapic blossoms, futilely infertile,
billow the sky, scatter across my lawn,

skulk in the corners of my garage.
By the time December snow sifts

its thin apology over trees and my domestic
putterings, I want to string my sheets, hung
cerulean between quiet and whiteness.

Laura Powers teaches developmental writing at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho. Her poems have appeared in a wide range of print and online journals, and her chapbook, Speak, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Powers is the former poetry editor of Fugue, and is a graduate of the University of Idaho’s MFA program.