The nature of a hedge is to be
high. To obscure. Look,
berries have appeared overnight, like
arson, a smolder of nest
rests in the ivy like a rowboat
gone over some falls.
I was wary, too wary,
of the Tuileries’ mazes, man-
made spirals where boys and girls
to the circular middle, lying upright
on branches to kiss.
The mouth opens, O
to be pressed against a breathing
wall, touched by a stranger
with such urgency, leaves hissing
encouragement, to be publicly
loved, to be privately. . . .
Give us a season of rest
from marriage. Recover us, as we
appear ill from the outside. Hide us
awhile, landscape wild and uncaring,
though it’s true the new bud
is choked by the dying.
Paula Bohince is the author of two poetry collections, both from Sarabande Books: Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods (2008) and The Children (2012).
Listen to Paula Bohince and Joshua Mehigan discuss “The Nature of a Hedge” on our podcast, Contributors in Conversation.