Rumpus Original Poetry: Two Poems by Sage Ravenwood





I Apologized to the Cucumber Vine

Snaking further and further into grass,
unfurling limbs from a hosed down plot

of earth; untangling itself from its dirt
mates, and stretching toward yards end.

Fleeing the gardener, me, as if I held the
pruning shears solely to hamper its

rebellious streak. Sorry, to the tendril
curling indelicate around my heel with it’s

tender shoots; for stepping on protruding
limbs crawling toward the wild beyond;

Inhale the cut grasses warning scent –
beware humans weeding radish friends,

yanking stems from their mooring by the
roots. Hide under a canopy of wide leaves.

Sprawl until creepers touch chicken wire.
Climb. Trail after sunlight glinting off

hexagonal links. Wave to the tomato plants
tied to pikes. They’re going to turn red soon,

blushing angry at harvest time, plucked
one by one. Whichever is reddest first.

String beans hanging around until they
snap. Even the potato plants are starting to

lean heavy pregnant with bulging roots.
The squash – blooming yellow belly

cowards. “I’m sorry,” is a poor excuse to a
sheared cucumber, caught slipping under

bent chicken wire. Gently lay
the twiglet spread eagle in the grass,

a sprig wraps around my finger.
Forgive me.


Weigh Down

Everything leads back to this moment.
How a flea infested kitten’s fur with

specks of dark feces, feels like a lupine
when it’s penned inside an overcrowded

rabbit hutch. Thanks to Mama’s unruly
fascination with breeding. Sand chigoes

flourishing beneath wired cages, blood
thirst biting my legs and arms while

I’m standing beside an outdoor washing
machine, pallet hoisted, spin banging

cowshit clothes. I feel scurrying jumpers
on my skin hanging wet laundry. I’m

begging for rain to drown the parasites.
Sleeping between infested sheets;

scratched raw, eyes shut tight when
a man strips my body bare. Rubbing

alcohol to soothe prickled skin. I share
the rabbit’s misery, we can’t escape.

Weigh down the darkness you keep.
And I’m kitchen step-stool squatting,

a few drops of Dawn dish soap in a bowl
of water; Flea combing Maine Coon hair,

wishing for Winter’s cold reprieve. Nearby
a bucket to drown infested memory banks.


Photograph of Sage Ravenwood by Sage Ravenwood.

Sage Ravenwood is a deaf Cherokee woman residing in upstate NY with two rescue dogs, Bjarki and Yazhi, and her one-eyed cat Max. She is an outspoken advocate against animal cruelty and domestic violence. Her work can be found in Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, The Temz Review, Contrary, trampset, Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, Pioneertown Literary, Grain Magazine, the Sundress Press anthology The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry, and Gothic Blue Book VI: A Krampus Carol. Work is forthcoming from Massachusetts Review, Lit Quarterly, and Smoke & Mold. More from this author →