In Tallahassee, in the heat, I tried,
Weekly, to purge our wooden, man-height fence
Of a pernicious vine, arm-thick. I pried--
Though without proper tools or proper sense--
For what seemed like hours, to no avail.
My bolt cutters could not break through the stalk.
Despite their dents, each day the vine inhaled
More fence, and dug itself in, hard as rock.
Eventually I succumbed to despair
And let the vine grow when and where it pleased.
But now, a decade on, the whole affair
Has turned to allegory by degrees:
The vine is hope, let's say, which though we try
To break it down, never quite seems to die.