The McKinley Review Magazine

Wild Cannabis Country 

By: Claudia Serea | Posted on: July 2018 

I take a few pictures to show my friends

the ten foot tall ditch weeds,

feral Cannabis sativa,

cânepă sălbatică.


We walk through vineyards

choked by morning glories,


through sunflower fields

with a dry, sweet scent,


through curtains of tall grasses,

thorns, brambles, thistles.


I didn’t know this has become

wild cannabis country

inhabited by ghosts.


When did the weeds grow so tall,

wall after wall of plants

on the roadside?


Soon they’ll take over.


Soon, the weeds will bury the road,

the few remaining homes.


Soon, the dirt wings

will close over

the last houses standing.



the sphinx moths flutter

in the windows.


And the wild cannabis country smokes

and whistles

in the wind.



Claudia Serea’s poems and translations have appeared in Field, New Letters, 5 a.m., Meridian, Gravel, Prairie Schooner, and many others. An eight-time Pushcart Prize and four-time Best of the Net nominee, she is the author of Angels & Beasts (Phoenicia Publishing, 2012), A Dirt Road Hangs From the Sky (8th House Publishing, 2013), To Part Is to Die a Little (Cervena Barva Press, 2015) and Nothing Important Happened Today (Broadstone Books, 2016). Serea is a founding editor of National Translation Month, and she co-hosts The Williams Poetry Readings in Rutherford, NJ. Her latest project is Twoxism, a poetry-photography collaboration blog with Maria Haro.