Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kudzu . . .

Flowering Kudzu (Wikipedia)
First I noticed 
small, purple flowers
in early spring, 
rising up from the muck
on a thin stalk; then,
as spring heated up to summer,
climbing creepers
covered nearly every bush,
every tree shaded from light, 
festooned 
with fat Kudzu leaves
that just never stopped growing.
Underneath this canopy,
the trees began to die,
their smell ripe with history.
Six or eight generations back,
the government paid farmers $8/hour,
a goodly sum, to sow Kudzu. 
Their hope? To stop soil erosion 
over one million acres.
Sometimes we don't know
what gifts a flower brings. 

Today's poem comes from a rambling summer trip spent driving south through Georgia. We saw a blanket of what looked like a strange kind of ground cover, growing right up from roadside ditches to cover shrubs and trees in an unending wave of green. 

Mature Kudzu, Georgia (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia really does have an interesting article on Kudzu, these hardy perennials, how the plant was introduced back in the 1870s, how invasive it is, how difficult to eradicate, how it might contribute to global warming. 

Like many, I'm pretty far removed from growing things; I scrounge my food in the market, eat bagged spinach, worry a bit about GMO's. I remember my grandfather talking about hunger in the 1930s and telling me that appearances can be deceiving.

See what others have written for the Blogging A to Z Challenge HERE.