Witches

 

My husband and I cut down the brush
That years ago broke through the playhouse walls.
Dead twigs and branches, mainly, though 
Some new living thing was entwined there, too. 
We tugged at it, bit by bit, pulling through the tangle
Until it all piled up, crooked, on the lawn. 
It took a long time. 
Then, we lit a fire with expired mail and fed it with the twigs. 

We did all this in silence; all week long
We'd circled around a quarrel. 

It's Easter. I didn't visit family this year.
It doesn't feel right -- taking their food
And leaving when the talk turns antagonistic. 

I don't know what's going to happen. 
I don't know if we'll recognize ourselves tomorrow. 
I don't know if change begets hope. 
I don't even know
If we'll keep loving each other year after year. 
As we break these branches with our hands, 
As we clear more space. 

I snap dead wood into tinier pieces.
We can't help but stand in the smoke, 
Tossing both dead and living into the fire. 
The green vines curl like witches as they burn.

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