“Clearing Ivy” by Alan Toltzis

clearing-ivy-2
“Signs,” Image by Dawn Surratt

Its roots felt their way across my skin
looking for soft spots,
probably digging in wherever
it was easiest. Who’s to say?

With unforgiving tedium,

it crept

and wound

and clutched

dislodging mortar in a retaining wall
and bending a trunk under its weight.

Inevitability has no need to rush.

Miles of twisting gnarled vine
grip until
barehanded and bloody-knuckled
you rip and scrape away at the aftermath
revealing little claw marks
etched into its path.

 

 

Alan Toltzis is the author of The Last Commandment and the founder of The Psalm Project, which teaches poetry to kids in middle and high school. Recent work has appeared in Right Hand Pointing, The Provo Canyon Review, As It Ought to Be, Red Wolf, and Burningword Literary Journal. Find him online at alantoltzis.com.

Read an interview with Alan here.