Old Age and Choice


Pruning a bougainvillea is a task for the brave,
But also a task that opens doors to serious thoughts.
Bougainvilleas resist the pruning process.
Their thorns are sharp, their branches supple
If they had teeth they would be bared.
They resist destruction.

Older, as I climb the ladder to chop their heads
To cut the branches ever reaching to the stars,
I reflect that when I can no longer climb this ladder
To reach my stars, I can no longer drive to places far
To unload these off cuts, or merely recharge my senses,
I will wither on the vine.

But now, days later, bougainvillea, once so sharp and spiky
Is a gentle green, and is very softly, slowly reaching
For its same stars. But so low the stars can not be seen.
So low wind cannot blow through needy branches
And the rain, to heal, beats on struggling growth.
The bougainvillea fights for a new life.

Maybe one day, perchance quite soon, I may change my mind.
A wheelchair’s breeze may excite as a car’s slipstream.
A ladder not worth scaling from the highs of bariatric lift.
But no. I will never grow new shoots, stars shine no future
And rain, wind and sunshine wither all old vines.
Time will come to dig out roots.

~ by Anne Powles on May 10, 2018.

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