Found myself with a free block of time
this afternoon, over at my house,
so I decided to grab clippers and tackle
the rampant grape vines. Not dressed for gardening
(black boots, slacks, nice sweater), but ambient enough
outside to shed my jacket, I began by hacking
at the lowest-slung vines, intertwined
with wild clematis and wisteria. Chaos!
Important at this early stage to not look at
the big picture but to focus on just cutting back,
pulling the dry brown strands from the tangle.
The fluff of clematis gone-to-seed
catching in my hair, my sweater.
And what's this? What's this thin crackle
insidiously wound around and around every stem?
The Dreaded Bindweed. Common morning glory.
So, battling four species knitted together.
Clip and clip. Pull. (Some of the grape vines
reach to twenty-four feet.) Clip again.
Finally, the snarl loosens; a framework emerges.
Detritus cast aside. Clarity.
All so that new growth may flourish,
and next winter I may have the privilege
of repeating this exercise.
(Realized, also, how necessary this cutting back,
this making way for what must surge forth
in the warming days.)