A Poem: Blithely Killing | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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A Poem: Blithely Killing

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As I blithely slice oriental bittersweet from its root
on this land called my own,
Don’t think I don’t see the irony.
No species could possibly be
more invasive than we.

On the boundary between this property and its neighbor
Along rock walls jumbled in complacency,
Vines entangle hickory, oak, beech, and wild cherry.
Like Laocoön and his sons
caught in miles of cable
twisting out from under
his computer table.

I harbor no prejudice.
This is not ethnic cleansing.
I cut wild grape, thick as a man’s arm
And as muscular,
From trunks of native trees.

When I was young I patrolled these woods as if
I owned them,
As if it mattered.
Now I’m just trying out a new chainsaw
delivered by Amazon to my door.

Preparing this land once called my own
for its next tenants.
Perhaps they will be
Inspired to some new resurrection
that is not me.

But since this is my life,
I choose to take a stand.
I stand with the wild cherry.

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