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.

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The Nature of a Hedge

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