The embroid’ry of your life holds you in
And keeps you out but you survive
Albatross by Judy Collins
I’m sure it began with one slender vine snaking up the magnolia’s tree trunk. Maybe it had fragrant flowers or tasty berries. I’ll bet it was pretty, an encircling bracelet, a fitting adornment for the vibrant tree.
But like draws like, and slowly, so slowly no one noticed, the tree was weighted down, deformed and strangled by the insistent vines.
New shoots are the first to green up the woods. Light brown tendrils leap out at the joints to grab hold of a host. Their older bretheren thicken with age. They lie along the forest floor. They play dead, all the while sending iron ties down into the ground. They cling. They resist.
There is a visceral pleasure in cutting vines away from the magnolia. They are bouncy, boomerangs. You pull. They pull back.
I have no illusions. I know that in the dark, the vines are growing as I sleep. But each morning now, I walk to the gate and see that magnolia reaching out, breathing, growing fast in the way of those who have lost time, and I smile.