I cut and burn each year
but the kudzu still comes back.

The root of it, hard and silent
as a thigh bone, must still be at work
beneath the shed I built after clearing
the landscape that came with the house.

Dad would know how to take the last
of its life from it, even hidden there.

But now, it’s too late to ask,
and all of his gardens but one
are gone—fading like dreams
once they were left alone.

He knew dry spells made a new tree
drive its tap root to seek deep.

He also knew it had to be watered in
the day it was planted, a hose
left to trickle onto the bare dirt
for hours until it was dark.

He’ll never know his abandoned
orchards are already becoming forests.

This poem first appeared in Bold (Issue 1)