®

Today's poem is by Rhina Espaillat

Bittersweet

My friend — that best of gardeners — pulls out
green yards and yards of tentacles whose tight
coils twine through my roses, feel about
for the next host to strangle. And she's right,
of course; there's nothing lovable in this
opportunistic scrambler for the sun
that flatters as it kills, each Judas kiss
of berry fat with seeds, a loaded gun
of generation. Still, there's something true
in aims so narrow that they leave no room
for reason. What these climbers do, they do
heeding that first imperative: to bloom.
One could, if one were mastered by rank joy,
shield what a better gardener would destroy.



Copyright © 2002 Mark Jarman All rights reserved
from Rehearsing Absence
The University of Evansville Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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