Kudzu

Kudzu spreads by vegetative reproduction via stolons (runners) that root at the nodes to form new plants and by rhizomes. (Wikipedia)

It radiates out from underground crowns,
stolons stealing along the asphalt at night
spreading at a rate of up to a foot per day.
I once loved the way it drapes over disused trestles,
climbs the raw dirt banks downtown by streetlight,
the way the day’s heat diffuses in whispers
from its spaces. It smothers other living things,
shades them out of the sunlight, though they
never wholly disappear: you can still
see their size, and perhaps better than before,
now leaved, enwreathed in soft green batting. To kill
the plant you must kill its coronets: the nodes, like
stars, send their rhizomes searching for purchase
even in soil whose nutrients would not recommend it.
Little kings, they’ll start new shoots elsewhere
if left in dirt when trucked out on trucks that chuck
them out far in the country. Beware. They’ll live. They’ll
thrive. Light and burn the diadems one by one. Or
else accept they’ll robe the world in one color, trail
their tendrils along the road, till the way itself disappears.

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