Choked by Jane Poirier Hart

for CBF

This morning, a brown oak leaf caught
in the chalice of a coral hibiscus. Intruder,
bringer of bad news: summer’s demise.
Invasive English ivy has insinuated itself
inside the screened porch, found chance:
the chink between panel & clapboards.
All season, inched, inched and wound
stem & leaf into one bare, back corner.
I haven’t the heart to cut it, tear it out.
Invasive because it chokes out other plants,
creates what’s called an “ivy desert,” but
something about the vine, its curve & curl
claiming air reminds me of seahorses, genus
Hippocampus. Hippocampus from
the Ancient Greek hippos meaning “horse”
and kampos meaning “sea monster.”
Hippocampus: twin curved horns in
the temporal lobe—pliable & vulnerable—
important to the limbic system, involved
in emotions, the cementing of memories.

by Jane Poirier Hart


Editor’s Note: This poem begins with a startling image that immediately draws the reader into a narrative of vine growth and its uncomfortable allegorical message (echoed in the title).

3 thoughts on “Choked by Jane Poirier Hart

  1. Jane, your beautiful way of narrating the most insignificant things so that they burst with color and dimension, never cease to amaze me. So very proud of you!


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