Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Weedkiller

Uh, Tex? Easy. Put down the pen. And the pencil. Threatening me with multiple shallow paper cuts won't stop me.

I promise: This is the last poetry post. At least for a while. (For a point of reference, read the comments for the previous post, or visit his blog here.)

This poem received something at a contest four years ago, but I can't remember if it was in the money or only an honorable mention. (I keep very good records. Can you tell?)

The person who inspired it has read it, but doesn't know she is the subject, and many other people--men and women--have thought I tinkered with gender or circumstances, and that the poem's about them. Uh, okay. Guilty consciences?

Last year, I wrote a poem about trying to grab for our dreams before they are ready, and used the metaphor of harvesting grapes that are still green, and the writers group thought I was writing about sex. I told you poetry was subjective.

Weedkiller

She is a choking vine,
twining my limbs,
wrapping my throat,
squeezing my strength
as if I am the soil that succors her roots.

I was, at first,
a sympathetic willing trellis,
thinking my role temporary,
like a stake to guide a sapling,
but she will not let go.

Sun and shade equally strike,
yet she claims the lesser share,
complaining her weakness, her lack,
her compromise—
shadowing me as she seeks more light.

I am dying,
throttled by her need.
Freeing my hand, I tear at her tendrils,
feeling the sticky wetness of broken stems.
Remnants of her cling to my clothes.

She cries her shock and anger,
pleas the length of friendship,
but I reck not her arguments,
turn from her tilting form,
and say, “Stand.”

KB, 2000

4 comments:

The Texican said...

I would suggest money rather than honorable mention. Vivid comes to mind. Why make us wait -these are great? Glad you shared

KEANAN BRAND said...

Thanks. After putting poetry out there for anyone to read, I always feel I should take it back again.

Eamon said...

Every word counts here. And fits in just right. Great poem.

Funninly enough I was thinking about the poem's theme (that I get in the poem: dependency) today.

KEANAN BRAND said...

Thanks--and dependency is definitely one of the themes. Another one is growing up/maturity. Other readers will probably find something else, too, but that's part of the beauty of poetry: all the things it can say, and in such a small space.