Each spring, my brother scrambles skyward,
Bramble scratched knees. Palm over palm I follow,
Wary of those in waiting: deep hollows hide the spiders.
I pull upward, strength straining, clambering, climbing.
You are a playground. You tower over our suburban backyard
Your fingers caress the clothesline; your roots reach defiantly
Under brick foundations, across cement pavements
Through the fence to the neighbours.
In the summer we could restrain you, retrain you
With secateurs, rope, ladder, we could cut against your boughs.
My mother threatens that this year, she could call the council. But then - 
Autumn lightning strikes, striped colour,
White thunder from grey cloud, the shrieking of bats.
Have you heard this before? Has the sky rumbled your core?
Do you whisper to the earth as you embrace her?
A barbecue beneath your canopy, kindly you offer kindling,
Warm twigs, waxed leaves, your smoke perfumed incense lingers on laundry.
Cold winters' lilac blossoms, yet fruitless your endeavour:
Afraid of you, your berries rots, slippery underfoot
A feast only for the birds.