So many years of being entwined
that I’ve forgotten where you end, and I begin.
So I work,
sweat dripping as I loosen the threads
like spiraling tendrils,
wound snug around my thoughts and feelings
until they’ve strangled the life out of the plant they once clung to,
leaving no room to grow,
deep impressions engraved in the skin like fingerprints, a scar.
I breathe into them,
hammer out the dents until they pop back out to the surface,
and blink stunned in the blare of sunshine.
It’s dangerous work,
uncoiling a spring under years of pressure.
They can pop off like firecrackers and blind an eye.
As I carefully untie the binds, they snap and curl like a whip.
And as I toil in the heat, dangling strands still snag.
An unexpected yank on one can still send me spinning into a nosedive like a tangled kite.
A sudden tug can unwind me until I’m spinning round and round with no center.
Calling out to hear my own echo bounce off something solid,
in order to reorient myself,
straighten up and fly.
Cautiously I send out feelers into new soil.
Take a deep breath and tear off the Band-Aid.
Pull up damaged roots and shake off the earth,
dedicate myself to rip off the dead weight,
leaves crispy, brown and brittle down the fence line,
off shoots from a severed vine.
But I dream of green sprouts pushing through soil.
The hopeful unfurling of new life.
So I return to the struggle over and over.
A labor of love, self-love.
Deep and expanding,
Light rising out of a well.
Shining warm and cozy.
A beacon towards