Tender Warriors


tender leaves push through soil

and shake off winter’s grip

tiny tendrils reach

for the old metal lattice,

and quiver for just a moment —

an almost imperceptible movement

weighing the consequences

life or death, persevere or wait to wither

in the cool winds that blow

finding purchase, they coil

becoming one with iron bars

a small victory

a time to rest, the reward

while the moon rises in the night sky

the small plant gathers strength,

vibrating with the energy 

it returns to earth

and as dawn paints the sky

with a palette of soft colors

it resumes the battle

stretching and growing

pulling the ones beneath

into the warmth of the morning sun

now a battalion, the young vine

climbs as one, a unit with purpose


units meander in all directions

wrapping ’round the old lattice

It is the skeleton and they are its skin

that covers each imperfection, each crack

together, they are beautiful

together, they are lush

together, they are alive

birds gather in the greenery

and sing songs of praise

that urge sweet-scented blooms

to open and dance in the summer rains

and so it goes, so it goes

through the seasons

marking time in rays that nourish

and evenings that creep in pace

with the creatures that scurry beneath

until the inevitable chill lays claim to the land

softly whispering lullabies and lies

urging each living thing to sleep

to let go

and so it goes, so it goes

those who fought to reach the top

of that old lattice are the first to slip

into the blue ever-after before

it cascades down the iron spine

and kisses each with cold lips

until that old lattice is left 

naked and alone

to soldier through

the barren winter dreamscape

memories of spring 

its salvation

photo: mine




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