why is it
that my two favorite poems
when I was growing up
both had the same theme, of plants
growing wildly into homes?
did it perhaps have
something to do with
the two models of love
that I was shown
by my parents?

mother invaded, strangled –
she wanted to be
closer than close,
she wanted to climb inside
my very brain
and become one with me.

father kept his distance,
did his own thing
and let me do mine.
it didn’t bother him at all
that I was my own person,
because he was fine
being himself.
he was very much
separate, immured
in his own private
citadel, one that
could not be stormed,
for it was far
too well guarded.

I hated being invaded
and longed for my own
tall, tall tower, complete
with portcullis
and moat.

and yet
my blood was stirred somehow
by the thought
of the rose growing madly
into the house, by the image
of the kudzu
tapping on the window;
I found the wild unstoppable energy
of the plants and the
snakes exciting.

if nature abhors a vacuum,
apparently so does mine.

so if I’m happy
being joined at the hip
until suddenly I feel
an urgent need
to be alone, it’s because
I never learned a happy medium
in this vast spectrum
from extreme intimacy to
complete independence.
so I welcome the invasion
of the plants
until the gates close themselves.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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