Thirty Years’ Creeper War

Into its roots I thrust my spade,
each spring, to kill it where it cloaks
and climbs my lovely house, and chokes
all other green things there arrayed.
With my bare hands I pull new shoots
before they batten and start to braid
themselves into a wild cascade.
I never manage to kill the roots.

I lay thick fabric on the yard
to snuff the beast, but my crusade
founders: no earthly barricade
will work. Old errors—they die hard:
I planted this plague decades past,
so casually, and am now betrayed
by its propensity to last.
It’s not the worst choice I have made.

Jane Greer

Jane Greer has had poetry published for 40 years, with some time off in the middle. She founded and edited Plains Poetry Journal (1981-1993), an advance guard of the New Formalism movement. Her poetry collections include Bathsheba on the Third Day (1986, The Cummington Press [Harry Duncan], Omaha) and Love like a Conflagration (2020, Lambing Press, Pittsburgh). Most recently, her poems have appeared in Literary Matters, Modern Age, and St. Austin Review, and she has poems coming out in National Review and First Things.

'Thirty Years’ Creeper War' has 1 comment

  1. June 19, 2021 @ 3:04 pm Cynthia Erlandson

    I love the description, the musicality, and the implied but not overstated metaphor.


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