By Poet Laureate Christopher Watkins



Early morning, and like middle-schoolers
chicken-pimpled beside a swimming pool,
the once-mighty vines stand humble, naked in their rows;
I swear they’re shivering—
a finishing school
of apprentice scarecrows
practicing on snowflakes…

I walk the morning-after battlefield — the fight
an ancient rite of deconstruction —
marveling at the meager
quintessence of these vines: arms thin
as antennae, slender trunks poorly mimicking
their elder’s muscularity;

reminded of a bubblegum
cartoon, I imagine Old Vines walking by
and kicking sand in all the little
vine’s faces, then stealing off their girls…

A long year ahead, and I have no song I can sing
to march them onwards, but like soldiers under clippers
weeping quietly, they may take heart
that hair grows back, all wars end,
and somewhere there is someone
short a glass of wine.