Emily Hayes

Once welcomed in warmth
Desired for nothing more than décor
To underestimate the unknown
Naivety punished by nature
Blinded by the exotic beauty
Placed on porches for all to see

Homes soon swallowed in its grasp
Backyards losing boundaries
Once unleashed, power untapped
By the invader, land became lost
Southerners stared in shock
Wondering where it all went wrong
As the days drew on over the hills
They were forced to face their fate

The evergreen is now forever entwined
In both the country and the culture
The new neighbor slowly normalized
Now unaware of how the land used to look
A beautiful view became covered in vines
Though time has ticked, the growth still unyielding
Nothing can stop the inevitable surrender
‘Invasive’ far too innocuous for its impact
Native life condemned to be strangled by the sinful
The plant considered a conqueror and champion
Determined to devour the desperate

Now as travelers drive by, they are drowned
In an ocean of the growth and grotesque
Earth eaten by evil; light ensnared by the executor
The criminal now within the culture
The abnormal has become accepted
Yet victory against the vine cannot be
For the alien is already absolute
Yet some must remember the reckoning
Feelings still far from forgotten
Left to mourn the memory
Of beautiful branches and precious plants
In a luscious land beneath silky sky

Emily Hayes