The Nature of a Hedge

By PAULA BOHINCE

 

 

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

disappear, wound

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.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 06 here]

The Nature of a Hedge

Related Posts

poetry feature image

February 2021 Poetry Feature

REBECCA MORGAN FRANK
Nineteenth-century body snatchers / dug down to the head / and roped the body up, / chucked jewels back to dirt, little interest / in mementos, only / the corpses themselves. / That’s how we learned our bodies had a life / on their own, a worth / without us. / We can freeze and sell our eggs...

LitFest Poems 2021

LitFest 2021: Poems by Tommye Blount and Natalie Diaz

NATALIE DIAZ
He was calling in the bulls from the street. / They came like a dark river, / a flood of chest and hoof. / Everything moving, under, splinter. Hooked / their horns though the walls. Light hummed / the holes like yellow jackets. My mouth / was a nest torn empty.

poetry feature image

January 2021 Poetry Feature

CLIFF FORSHAW
What was your name? Who traced your frozen charm? / Your body’s with us still: you have no face. // Was it soft, or haughty? Tender, fearful, calm? / We’ll never know if it equalled the way your stance / tips a half-cradled breast from your folded arm.