Kudzu

Kudzu clutches the sheer bank near the dam,
roots that cling, crowns of rhizome
underneath its close canopy, which lie
dormant, even when displaced, dislocated.

Kudzu finds new purchase in any soil.
It must be burned to nothing, in order to die.

Kudzu covers the South, making vague
the true contours of its topography.

Kudzu becomes the surface, waving
faintly in the breeze from the highway:
its stolons snake ceaselessly, tendrils twine,
feeling night by night for the soft shoulder.

Kudzu came from somewhere else,
just as everything once did – serving first
to keep the earth from washing away.

Now we can’t make it leave: it climbs,
annexing foot by foot: silent, tireless émigré.

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