by Charles Troob

Wisteria encloses our yard on three sides
Tendrils poke through fence slats
thick ropy stems burrow underneath

A foot or two in from the property line
a vine shoots up from the soil
Every half inch or so it spews out
a cluster of leaves—five pairs
and one more on the end
in mindless replication
then marches on
seizing every opportunity to take hold and climb

A few weeks ago I found wisteria poking
under the fence, then twisted around a seven-foot
false cypress in stranglehold from base to top
I snipped it at the base
spent a quarter hour unraveling
ten yards or so of green vine
and tossed it in the street
for village compost

If the neighbors joined
eradication might be possible
but invasion to me is decoration to them
Next door an arbor supports wisteria a foot thick
Late May it blooms in grapey clusters
the scent heavy
as if to show up the graceful lilacs
that open on Mother’s Day and quickly fade—
like Mama Rose in Gypsy
taking the stage after her daughter’s star turn
blowsy overripe
unlovable but a life force

Charles Troob attends Sarah White’s weekly poetry group. Occasionally he gets lucky and something good comes out.  Enjoy!