Today I must court
the word.
I can tell it won’t
come freely.
Because I am in
planning mode,
arranging hotels
for us,
and airlines for
visiting friends.

I always forget
which side of the
brain it is
that does what
but right now
I am in comma
I could break lines
like cutting back
as my ex-husband
used to do,
as most men
seem to.
That way he stripped
the vines that sheltered
my clothes line
in the days when
I hung diapers out,
so visciously
that I took my child
in her stroller
& sat on the curb
across from the library
beneath the deodara
trees – and wondered
where to go –
knowing I could not
live with someone
who did that.

Evening came
before I had an option
& we went on.
Later he cleared
the jungle of the home

we bought, which was
why I loved it.
The banana hacked
down to the ground,
the pond removed
for steps.
He wanted an orderly
yard, a place to sit
with a gin & tonic.
We divorced soon after,
though on the surface
not because of that.
Most would say
if that was the worst
he did I was a fool.

Today my husband
errs in the opposite
Refusing to remove
the pepper tree
that has grown up
through the orange.
He has no taste
for cutting.
Who knows if it’s
mere laziness,
or why I never
found a man
to walk the middle

I will have to be
the one to dig the pepper
up. The one to call
the tree trimmers
& try to talk in their
language, with words
like lace & light.