Poetry 6

Hedera Helix

This is how you survive when you are spineless,

as I am; twisting and turning, invisible

in the shadows of the great cliff.


I am condemned to darkness.

Sometimes I dream of standing straight and tall, strong

as an oak tree in brassy sunlight with starlings nestling

on my plump limbs. Their chatter would dissolve

my ghosts and together we would sing our praise.


But I am condemned to darkness. My vibrant greens pass

unnoticed, my curvaceous nature is reviled. When I reach out

with my delicate aerial roots, wrapping myself

around your emptiness,

you tear me down.


But know this; we are survivors, me and my kind.

We will thrive in our poor patches of earth.

We will celebrate as our fruit and flowers tender

succour to the small.