The bramble tangle

You need a certain amount of aggression to take on a bramble thicket.
I fought a good fight with one down by the river;
it was taking over the path, threatening, scratchy.
My weapons were secateurs and a sickle,
my defence was thick leather gloves.
I approached warily, poking away from a distance.
We are bramble, we are the strength of tangle;
we prickle, we grow, we prickle, we die back.
Snip, snip; I’m cutting; snip, snip; I’m cutting,
and pulling out great lengths, and carefully putting them aside;
snip, snip, I’m in there, chopping wherever I can reach;
I’m scratched, blood to bramble, bramble gets me.
The way is growing clearer as I take the thicket apart.
I’m admiring how cleverly the bramble tangle works:
last years dark green stems rest on top of the dark brown stems
from the year before; the dark brown stems are supported
on the light brown stems from the year before that;
each layer spread on a lower layer to grow higher, and further.
We are not separate individuals sprung purely from the earth;
we spring from layers of bones that support us,
we sprawl across the skeletons of those who have grown before;
our ancestors grew on, and died back, and then some more grew on.
We prickle, we grow, we prickle, we fruit, we die back.
A massive tangle of thought-structures fruited into secateurs,
and with those in hand, I fought a few rounds.
At the end, exhausted, we were tangled up in an embrace,
our blood and sweat mixed together,
Now I could not love the bramble thicket more.

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