for Della

The previous tenants must have left it here
because it settled twisting up around
the trellis of the mullioned windows so
tenaciously they couldn’t take it down;

they couldn’t budge the huge pot on the floor
for all the tendrils rooted in the cracks
between the window and the window frame,
pressing their heart-shaped leaves against the glass.

So we could trace out every kind of weather:
a cross unyielding sun in the burned tips,
or shade no sun could break where deep green paled
and narrowed in a whitening eclipse.

Or days, like this day, when the early light
brings all out of doors into the waiting leaves
which suddenly have known no other time
than dwelling in this green light light receives.

Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 3 Number 10, on page 56
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