Amorak Huey, a former newspaper editor and reporter, is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and the chapbooks The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014) and A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly, forthcoming in 2016). He teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His poems appear in The Best American Poetry 2012, The Southern Review, The Collagist, Ninth Letter, Oxford American, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere.
November 9, 2016
The Kudzu, Everywhere
Trying to write failing, to write memory, I write family instead:
we are invasive species, colonists, trespassers
brazening past shotgun-pocked signs
that rust against pine trunk and fence post.
We climb, coil, trail. We do not intend harm.
We take only what we need
but we need so much.
Eventually the world forgets
what it looked like without us.
Swallowed-tree, covered-dirt, buried-past —
trying to write green, I cannot find a word green enough.
We came here from somewhere else.
Frost is temporary. Fire does not touch the roots.
This poem is part of a series in which I explore the farm where I grew up. A version of that farm, at least, and a version of my growing up. It's part memory, part imagination. Each poem tries to focus on a particular landmark or feature of that landscape and how they relate to each other and to the family that lives there. This one's about the kudzu, which of course is ubiquitous. Writing it, I discovered that I related to the kudzu in ways I did not expect; that invasive species thing, in particular. We moved to that farm when I was young, and as much as it felt like home, I also always had the sense that I was a visitor, an interloper. Perhaps this is true of all of us, all of the time, no matter where we are.
The series will be collected in a chapbook from Porkbelly Press later this year.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published weekly by Glass Poetry Press.
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