The Vine

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The ugly stump, desolate, dead
and too deep to pull, waited for my saw,
but I, lazy and pre-occupied, lingered
as winter inundated
the mud and rock desert
outside our kitchen window.

Then spring came, and all excuses spent,
I slogged out, grim executioner,
ready to cut and pull,
when I beheld green, craggy fingers praying
for just one more chance;
so putting the saw back into our messy garage,
we began the project,

raking, hoeing, cutting, digging
(hard work for a lazy man)
and soon sod to lay
and bricks to haul for a patio,

when, bushwhacked, we spied
the truant stump
proclaiming itself a grape vine,
stringy runners running rampant
through the little garden we built around it,
hooked fingers grabbing for anything
to pull nascent leaves up,

up to the warming April sun,

out of the dark winter earth,

and alarmed we cut it back, fearful vintners,
afraid for threatened geraniums
and knock-out roses,

but a treaty agreed upon, the vine settled
for one corner and left the rest
to more delicate flora.

Life will not be denied
in our backyard.

(4/10/2009)

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