20 December 2019

Advent: Reclamation

His smile was grim as he looked over the land:
Thickets of plum and honey locust twined with poison ivy,
Clearings all but choked with thistles, weeds, and vines.

He was old enough to remember when this was a vineyard,
Renowned around the world for its fine wines, subtle yet robust,
And now a family of raccoons resided under the ruined winepress.

The cistern had cracked. The spring that used to feed it
Burbled down the hill now, giving life to other, less ungrateful, lands.
The soil, once rich and fertile, was now drought-dry.

The grapevines had gone the way that wild grapevines go:
In every direction they could. They were prodigiously leafy
And all but fruitless. The few grapes they did have were tiny and bitter.

In short, it was a mess. But, like just about anything,
It could be salvaged, given enough time, tears, sweat, and blood.
He had loved this vineyard once, and it was in his heart to remake it.

He noticed a full-grown timber rattler sunning itself atop a fallen log
And made a mental note to have his son come down
And deal with it. Snakes would have no place in this vineyard.

It was a huge job, but he was unfazed. He had an abundance
Of time and strength and zeal. No matter the cost, he would accomplish this.
He turned to the nearest tree, unshouldered his ax, and started chopping.

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