Bittersweet Vine

Bittersweet Vine 

needed to be hacked

back hard

to kill its wanderings

its choking other bushes

I asked John

who mowed the lawn

to kill the vine.

he didn’t say no,

but he never did destroy it

he just mowed the lawn

in his whirlwind way

one day I ask him

again, to kill

the bittersweet.

he smiled and touched

one thick, coiling vine,

reminded me that I once

loved its red blood berries

loved them in the dead of winter

during that month of bittersweet talk

his Viet Nam mission of retrieving

the dead grew back

strangling his mind  

he began plotting his death



Mary Shay McGuire


Mary Shay McGuire was introduced to poetry in grammar school when she was given book of poetry. Poetry has been with her since then and the gift was the impetus for her beginning to write poetry. She graduated from Newton College of the Sacred Heart—now part of Boston College-- and then studied painting in Paris. Later she graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with an MFA in Writing Poetry. She has published poems in Eclectica, Vita Brevis, Literary Heist, Literary Yard and other venues and has won the Hackney Prize for Poetry and the New Millennium Prize.

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