This is the year
you regrew in my chest after I
pulled you out from the root.
Instead of planting
a garden in your place,
I felt that vine slither in again and wrap
and tighten
and grow.
But this time I could not pull you out.
I weeded and watered and fertilized you until
I felt your roots become my lungs
and your leaves become my ribs
and I cowered in fear of everything.
I cowered in fear of even breathing.

For over a year you grew but I have a plan
to finally defeat you:
it involves a little needle
and barely a moment of pain
and then I will be able to cultivate
the vegetable garden my soul deserves.
Olivia from Ohio