It's used as an afterthought, fattening festive
arrangements for Mother's Day, Easter,
someone's birthday. An underrated vine,
enhancing center-stage flowers whose star-power
doesn't wear well. It's the "coming attraction"
that's there after the clapping dies down,
replanted by doorstep or gravestone. "Grow,"
I say, "Change my life with your traveling beauty,
your common denominator, your scrawling
signature seldom sought for autographs.
Snaking around graves at our family plot,
it's an ongoing gift, out-giving the giver
with its "overwhelming darkness", reminding us
where there is life, there is also death. Surviving,
thriving in hanging pots the less hardy exit,
it surprises and delights, reaching down from limbs
of trees for soil, unchallenged there in pine straw
until tender tendrils insinuate their way
to daylight through tapestries of needles
When the ivy becomes dense, I will know
you are there: ivy of my heart, ivy of essence,
the graceful way it swings and sways, how
it takes to new habitat in the way you, Julie,
cut a swath through New York City after lifetimes
in the easy South. We are old souls, older
than the hedera, cousin to ginseng, reminder
of the movement of the heavens, the ability
to bring things together. You were shelter,
the poets' headpiece, bringing peace
to my household. Resurrection and rebirth,
Julie, in this Easter of ivy.
Copyright © Nola Perez | Year Posted 2009