BOB GRAY: Chaos among the vinesMore Info
Housatonic — Only October can tame the “vine garden.” Although naming it a garden implies some semblance of control and order. Instead, the plot is a hotbed of anarchy, pumpkin, squash, and gourds run amuck. The pumpkins, particularly, run feral across the path, actually climb into the lower branches of a white pine, and set up shop.
Though the whole place has been pretty much inaccessible since June. The fading sun and erratic weather has stolen the vines’ vitality and wilted the broad leaves.
In spring I’d decided to circle the vines with sunflowers, plant the seeds inches apart hoping they’d grow like logs into a stockade and contain the march of the pumpkins.
Though they grew eight or nine feet tall, they proved to be indifferent sentinels, lolling in the sun while the vines ran merrily through them.
Withered by age, the stalky, tired sunflowers remain at their posts. But tall and gaunt as Watusi warriors, they’re more of watchers at a funeral, their heads bowed, mourning what’s passed even as they regret their imminent mortality.
They tilt and tip, always to the south now, yearning after the retreating sun.
Although they refused to conform to my purposes, they, heads heavy with seed, had succeeded handsomely at their own.
Like some old men, they sag, hunched inward, weighted down with their own accomplishments and tired with life.