by Ellen Bilofsky
I wish I knew how to write a poem.
But why would anyone care?
I wish I knew how to capture an image
That would burn a hole in the air.
I wish I knew how to climb out of this hole.
Now that would be something to share.
I wish I knew how to look forward not back;
One scares me, one soaks me in sorrow.
Somewhere inside I have something to say.
Perhaps I’ll find out what it is tomorrow.
Make no mistake about it,
When a vine gets a foothold, it’s there for good:
Creeping, sneaking, twisting, spreading.
I planted the morning glory for its rich purple blooms,
Not knowing how it would climb up the cucumbers and take over all,
Sprouting in the squash and smothering the dill.
No matter how times I ran
Sometimes crying, sometimes soothing,
Sometimes cleaning up my vomit,
Sometimes with a song.
Using my doubts as pathways to “okay.”
Tentacles of vines of love, of time,
To be peeled off, one by one, as others attached.
How could I foreswear the time we hitched up the coast?
Or our calico cat that fell from the window ledge?
Tearing and ripping and running and tripping.
Sometimes you can’t eradicate a vine.
Sometimes you just have to make up your mind to walk away.