The Grape Vines That Have Overtaken Our Lilacs
It is a mystery where they first came from
those first tiny tendrils, so charming
quaint, in pleasing contrast
as they twined through the brighter green of the spring lilacs heavy with fragrant flower,
demurely parading as civilized ivy.
Yet, they were deceptive, devious –
Seemingly overnight, suddenly overwhelming, engulfing,
greedily reaching ever up and around
twining and twisting, building layer upon layer
then cascading and reaching, racing
until the bushes, blossoms blown, became naught but silvery skeleton anchor.
Even then, they were not content, those vines.
Outward yet they reached, riding the winds to touch the overhanging trees
and grasp leafy limb with sticky whorl.
And we, who felt ourselves impotent before the onslaught,
could only stave off the upward forays,
surrendering our comfortable conformity –
abandoning the blithe bushes to verdant invasion.
Resigned at best, or perhaps cowardly ambivalent
we clucked in feigned disapproval
even as we constructed a silvery arbor of our own, strong and stable
to support the weight of the exotic trespasser
as it curled
and threw out new life over new life over all
until the world around receded from the lush and sequestered thicket –
not even the alley lights intruding.
Even as we bemoan the loss of the lovely lilacs and their heady blooms
secretly, we are pleased, as we slip away and sequester ourselves in the dense foliage.
It seems fitting to trade beauty for shadow
as our lives circle in on themselves
and strangle what was before.