Citizen Science


Ginko biloba leaf, Arboretum Volcji Potok. Photo by Mihael Simonič, via Wikimedia Commons.


Citizen Science
December 1, 2016 – Portland, Oregon

Six weeks beyond our usual first frost
ginko leaf-notes fly down the street,
clog gutters. We know this, expect this.

Then an ornamental plum
pushes out shy buds, laced
with caution. Careless.

Spoon tips of daffodils up a half-inch,
hyacinths a quarter. Gold nasturtiums,
the nasturtiums pay no never mind

if we hauled in a Christmas tree,
brushing aside their trailing vines
radiant on the stone path.

Mountain snowpack stacks up,
ski resorts open, and while revelers
rejoice, the valley is rain upon rain.

Let winter come says the sundial
to the valley. Arugula, rose bud,
feverfew, shasta daisies, calendula

and violets are deaf to warnings,
pretend new normals and record
settings are all they know

in this the freezing-over moon.

—Tricia Knoll
* * *

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet with two books in print – Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press 2016) and Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press 2014). Website:

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