Sneaks in with its sentiments,
Disarming name, sweet talk,
To blemish a lilac hedge
Planted a century ago by a farm woman
Yearning after beauty.
Armed with shears, I wrestle
The flowery branches. Their intoxicating scent
Belying the nature of invasives.
That woman, Elizabeth Hall,
Buried six children one spring.
Diphtheria, typhoid, hard measles—
We don’t know. Their small gravestones
In the crossroads cemetery.
I hope the lilacs
Gave her comfort. A suffusion of purples.
Color of grief. I tear out the unforgiving
Honeysuckle, its false endearments,
The way it seeks
To overtake everything she cherished.