POEM THAT DOES NOT MENTION LISA
Billy told me that thorny vine was the Devil’s Own.
You’ll have to dig up his root and it’s a runner.
I do not like the digging of holes inside them
so many rocks and roots that want to joust,
to unshovel me, so I snipped him with my shears.
Not the big ones I bought when the hardware
closed such a bargain I went after whole tree
limbs, tore my rotator cuff, “massive” tear
said Brandon, my physical therapy guy.
And, sure enough, I could lift my arm eye level
in six months this ain’t no Roethke poem
with crumbs and tendrils, this is war.
The Devil’s Own thorny thing will climb up
to the cable, the electric, as we say,
and turn itself around hokey pokey so I asked Billy
to dig it up, root and tail, goat feet and all,
but he couldn’t find it I cannot see
The ghosts of the newly dead he said.
Charles Wyatt is the author of two collections of short fiction, a novella, and two poetry collections. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he was principal flutist of the Nashville Symphony for 25 years.