I had a plant; it was my life.
It grew in soils and peat and shine.
It sprouted green and strong and mine.
Across the seas you thought it sweet.
It seemed the kind of plant that would
Accessorise a room; be good
For making you feel less alone.
You whispered that we might just share
This vine between us. Lush and rare.
We’d grow it strong and wild and free
From me to you, and you to me
Across that vast expanse of sea.
You used your words to start things off.
You told me tales of your desire.
Your lust set me, in turn, afire.
You there, I here, I trusted each
Deep dream you whispered to my world.
Encouraged thus, my stalk unfurled.
Its hopeful end bobbed pale and nude,
Nodding, searching for your lips
That sparked this trust. This perennial. This.
And Love, your voice was strong at first.
My vine obliged you. Hardy to
The time. The space. The obstacles. To
The tug of tides, wind, hills and seas.
It found you in it. Now a tree
Lessoned in faith and flexibility.
I still believed then that a plant with two suns
Must be infinitely better than any with one.
And I held such ambitions at what it’d become.
Yet when tendril touched you, after these feats,
Anticipating all the deep love of your vow,
The both of us found something changed in you now.
You pulled away cold. You shut all your doors.
You thought there were now things much better in worth
Than a vine that had grown half way round the Earth.
You did not believe in it. I forgave you for this.
I felt that you only couldn’t have known
(But of course you did; you did, alone.)
That even not feeding it, it would stay alive.
I doubled my efforts; I gave all my care.
It drained me to deadwood, dreams and thin air.
And I hungered for pleasures, for health, for that
Deep bounty that was mine before,
Which now grew a jungle on your foreign shore.
So yesterday, do you know what I did?
I took a reliable garden knife
And severed this fictional part of my life.
I sawed and sawed through every year
Of love I’d given. Patience. Belief.
Words unsaid. Your indifference. My grief.
One short moment was all that it took.
I tidied your end first, for your sake.
(Those years of habits are hard to break).
Then, for the first time, I tended to mine.
A burst of foliage thickened, sublime.
The stump was polished. The tendrils trimmed.
It grew fruits and flowers. Delightful things
I hadn’t known I had, like strawberries. Flowers.
White plumed birds in natural bowers,
Which rustled around my waist, all around,
In a thick, exquisite, impenetrable gown.
I keep this garden now, and do not send roots
To faraway deserts not designed
For truth and love not ours, just mine.