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Forum Home > Teignmouth poems and songs > IVY by Margaret Sheppard

micky brown
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IVY

Ivy and I go back a long way

I knew her when she was young and tender

and she started to climb my favourite oak

She was faithful and hung on tightly

For years she embraced him lovingly

surreptitiously growing when no-one was looking

and slyly insinuating her tendrils into his trunk

She always wore green and covered herself in shining glory

As a youngster she adorned herself with three-lobed juvenile leaves

But as she matured they became smooth-edged

and she produced flowers which turned to berries

People loved her for her kindness to the honey bees

when most other plants were preparing for winter.

She discreetly dropped her used brown leaves

and generously harboured a myriad insects

And no-one noticed her relentless rise to the upper branches

A decade of my suspicious vigilance

saw her steal warily along some branches

and strengthen her grip on the main trunk

vying with it to be a tree herself with her muscular coils

She took advantage of the tree's kindness

Until finally she enveloped every branch

The oak's silent gasping for light and air

went unobserved as did his drying bark

Another decade passed

Ivy's head rose triumphantly in a canopy of dense vines

offering a sail to the prevailing winds.

One stormy night a gale caught her mantle

and bent it till the wet ground yielded

and the bole of the oak slowly emerged as a large mound

the ends of the roots snapping under the strain

My great friend fell but Ivy lives on unperturbed

It is said that Ivy only gets a hold on trees that ail   but what makes that tree first fail?

Written by Margaret Sheppard
November 25, 2018 at 7:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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