• The DaVinci

Vines

V. Tillman

04.05.20

Here lies the expanse of my room:

Reserved and dark, but homely

I’ve gazed at it, searchingly,

So long that my bones creak and an ache resides in my back

And after staring for this lengthy time

I’ve grown aware that the room stares back

There are, between the polished walls and glistening floors—

Beside the marble of the hearth and the fluttering drapes—

Witnesses that substantiate

The past I have lived and the living me;

And empty spaces between that shall

Unveil who I will be

From the doorframe where I’ve rooted myself,

As I listen to these witnesses testify,

Vines sprout from the floorboards and curl around my thighs

Grass stains bloom on my knees, mud smudges my brow,

Straw weaves its way into the knots of my hair,

And I remember now

I was a wild thing—

Who spoke her mind as easily as she scampered across fields,

Whose deepest feelings her stubbornness often concealed,

Who, with her gang of guys,

Foraged for bones as they plucked bouquets of marigolds,

Who, despite her brazenness, was a bit shy

But, alas, that girl was clipped and placed in a vase,

Until the wild was wilted and stilled;

She was strapped to a desk chair and handcuffed with pencils—

Fluorescent lights altered the way she grew—

And she changed: some for the worse, a smidge for the better,

Until I was born anew

And me?

I am a girl terrified for the future and obsessed with the past

(Kingdoms rise and fall—why should ours last?)

I’m working on making mirror shards into mosaics—

But nostalgia’s crippling, and I concede that I am crippled—

Can something broken truly be fixed?

I said I’m terrified for the future, but don’t misunderstand,

Our future is solidified with the petrifying prophecies of science,

And the knowledge of our cyclical silence,

But my future is one of curious unknowns:

There will be people I grow to love and to hate—

Regrets, of course, and lovely things to call my own

In my future I will be all that I’ve ever desired to be

(Except, perhaps, alive)

I hope someday I’ll reconnect with the wild inside

Regrow those wilted leaves and straighten my stem

And I know I’ll inevitably succumb to the voice that whispers:

Hear the people, feel the ocean, see the world again

Yes, I am a product of the sea,

The land and people it links

And I am a victim of the way the world thinks

(Aren’t we all?)

I am the memories I’ve hoarded for fourteen years

Even those I can’t recall

Now to the doorway I return

The phantom vines leave goosebumps on my skin

And I grin at the room I’m not quite in

I enter, and cross to my porch door

Open it, a dark spring breeze wafts through

Then, before stepping out, breathe in the wild scent of petrichor

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