October Surgery

Town rules be damned, I would yank it out,
bamboo in my sister’s yard, while doctors prepped her
for a spinal shaving. I seized slender hollow stalks
tugged, twisted, ripping out rootball after rootball,
the loosened earth caving away
from me in half a second, leaving underfoot only
a too-soft pouch of saline
from the marsh.

For hours I worked along property poles,
tossed piles of broad-leafed canes onto
old heaps — last year’s many dead– pale and brittle.
I’d come to help out, to rid her of invaders, vile
so I thought until in the recovery room, ‘’Knotwood’’
she corrected, hospitable plant which multiplies, glad,
whenever guests arrive. Wood which had known
before anyone else knew whether I could
offer gifts freely or instead would insist one
upon her, even as surgeons turned her over.

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