A stand of poplars is a self-assembling
ground-water protection system.
Brake ferns filter arsenic from soil;
Indian mustard drinks up lead.
Sunflowers shrink strontium levels.
An uncommon man, an occasional woman,
buffer the malice of others, keep
the rest of us from tilting the world.
Added: Monday, June 30, 2014 / "Mitigation of Toxins" first appeared in Innisfree and may now be found in Growney's collection, "Red Has No Reason," (Plain View Press, 2010). Used with permission.
JoAnne Growney grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. After a first career in mathematics, she returned to poetry and now blogs about math-poetry connections at her blog Intersections – Poetry with Mathematics. Her mathy poems often celebrate math-women and express her concerns about climate change. Her poem, Mitigation of Toxins, first appeared in Innisfree and also may be found in Growney's poetry collection Red Has No Reason (Plain View Press, 2010). Within mathematics organizations she is active in promoting integration of the arts with the sciences (turning STEM into STEAM). She is a long-time supporter of Split this Rock.