Academic journal article Field

Our Ivy

Academic journal article Field

Our Ivy

Article excerpt

Star-gust. Seed cluster. Difficult syntax

of clouds through the yellow maple.

He flips

my paper to the porch these mornings

when he rises early to get his son

up, breakfasted, and driven off

to school.

It's hederá helix-twisting ivy:

whose dark green, three-lobed leaves "grow alternate

along the stem" one by one and


as a living leather, who spreads ravenous

until it's covered the host tree's whole trunk

and thickens there, blossoms there, pre-


or symbiotic partner, depending .. .

We need to get that thing ripped out. He means

the whole green mass. He rolls down his


telling me as he slows into his drive.

But now he sees I've seen his face-I'm fine,

more tests .. . hairline where a doctor

shaved him

and four or five gauze bandage-spots dotting

his cheek and jaw. It's the actuary

in him-retired, insurance-


about our cars, glass porches, passers-

by beneath the heavy shedding branches.

Our ivy's in its jubilant

phase, fall

flower sunlight twisted through with shadow,

each bloom-cluster splayed along the lifting

torso like a little nova


or geometric pincushion, eight, twelve,

sixteen spokes per globe with green-white blossoms

-"if sufficient sunlight is avail-


which turn, come spring, into black berries and

"a few stony seeds. …

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