Thorns Grow with Song

It’s time to rend our hearts and look inside
The chambered will, into the voices in
The vein: thorns grow with song. A hope applied

With mercy calls the tuner of the tidal
Pull of the soul, brings rest, denying sin
It’s time. To rend our hearts and look inside

Reveals a bramble, canes of prickly pride
That strangle sacrifice, and so, within,
The vain thorns grow. With song, a hope applied

Again, small notes of spring erupt and chide
The choking vine. They scourge the ego’s skin.
It’s time to rend our hearts and look. Inside

We need to file the points where barbs collide,
To cauterize, to stem the blood and pin
The vein. Thorns grow. With song, a hope. Applied

Again, confessed again, relief supplied
In more small notes, repentances begin.
It’s time to rend our hearts and look inside
The vein: thorns grow with song, a hope applied.



Maura H. Harrison is a poetry student in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at the University of St. Thomas. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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6 Responses

  1. Morrison Handley-Schachler

    A very charming poet, Maura, with a lot of reflection on hope and humility. I like the use of the same words repeatedly with different punctuation and sentence structure.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Changing punctuation to modify the rhetorical effect of the repetends is how one keeps a villanelle from being mechanically repetitive.

  2. Paul Buchheit

    Beautiful villanelle, Maura. I like the variations in punctuation in the key lines.

  3. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Maura, I especially like the interplay between “vain” and “vein,” an inspired interlocutory pairing.


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