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Machete 155

By Peter T. Cavallaro

I am the vine,” the Master declares.

Noted. Except that

this jungle is jam-packed:

How am I to know which you are?

Some of them

are suffocating healthy trunks,

lusting, I suppose,

after their sunlight.

Others dangle down

and obstruct the trail,

no doubt envious

of my mobility.

Still others slither the floor

like tripwires.

The ivied ones snap at first tug—


The rest are

braided and unscrupulous,

deliberately contorting themselves

to obscure their routes.

Perhaps “vine” wasn’t the image you were going for?

I am the vine, and my Father is the keeper.

Doubling down!

Shall we address the elephant in the room, then?

This steamy spot is

badly unkempt— nothing a self-respecting grower

should wish to showcase.

To your eyes, perhaps, a cuddling vine

is a garland, but

I see

a noose.

I am spectating

a death-struggle between shrubs, each one

gasping for air: That is the brutal orchard

to which this keeper lays claim.

You are the branches.

Ah, more complications!

For the offshoot of a weed is... no less a weed?

Anyway, it doesn’t look like the vine

lends its appendages much assistance,

leaving those hapless sprouts

to chart their own course

while staving off smothering neighbors.

What on earth can salvage the analogy?

A trellis would be nice. One that I can

put my hand through.

Absent that?

Let me think.

I suppose

nothing short of tasting the wine—

such that I might judge for myself

the fruit of this melee.


Peter T. Cavallaro is a writer, poet, attorney, adventurer, theologian, and nature photographer based in New York. His poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Bluebird Word, Ekstasis Magazine, and Foreshadow Magazine.


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