Vine and Green

krribalcony

The cold pieces of white continue to fall,
filling the pots on the balcony, covering the brown remains
of what was vine and green in the summer months.

Mother calls again, the demons dancing in her head.
Commercials carry secret messages and the christian
neighbor has moved away. A pagan now lives across the hall.

I tease, “Mother, I’m sure he’s a very nice pagan.”

Wrong move. Fast lash and verbal slap as only she knows how.
I bow, I bow out of the fight and say I’m sorry.
I hung up my boxing gloves years ago.

I’ve heard it said by some that people choose their parents
before they are born. Maybe the pain looks easy to deal with
from up there. Maybe I saw her when she was vine and green
and still untouched by disease.

I wonder if I looked down and saw a zig-zag trail,
a crazy path that was the only one that led
to the three small names of my children.

2 comments

  1. Kerri,

    It is so good to see you here! It’s been way too long.
    I was thinking about the girls getting ready for the holiday season.
    How grown up they must be now. I’m hoping Pete is doing well,
    and that you are getting some rest (though I seriously doubt that is
    the case.)

    Thank you for being here and for sharing one of my all time favorite
    poems. It means the world!

    sarah

    Like

  2. Hi Kerri

    I agree with Sarah, this one of my favorite poems by you, and I remember it well! What a pleasure to read and contemplate its theme and subject again. This is brilliantly written with truth and pathos, the imagery superb and the intensity just haunts the reader throughout. I love the title and how you work the figurative meaning of the plant into the poem. When things were in that season of vine and green, when green was attached to the umbiblical cord of hope. You use this so poignantly in the opening and again emphasize its significance in the last stanza –

    Maybe I saw her when she was vine and green
    and still untouched by disease.

    I wonder if I looked down and saw a zig-zag trail,
    a crazy path that was the only one that led
    to the three small names of my children.

    Dealing with mental issues is always difficult but especially when it concerns a parent or close loved one. I feel the sense of loss, struggle and resolve in this gorgeous poem. Thank you so much for sharing it! What an amazing poem!

    Take care
    my best always,\
    Wendy

    Like

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