A bundle of barbed wire abandoned in the middle of I-40 
Captures the rare eloquence of my hometown.
Where the greatest minds of nuclear science gather 
Alongside passels and rabbit herds.
See that hawk there. The headless squirrel in its beak
Reminds you not to leave the dog outside too long.
In the herbarium they study invasive plants– 
Kudzu and English Ivy; Haslam and Randy Boyd–
Trying to work out ways to slow their sunward trajectory
Before they kill the white oak trees and choke the persimmons.

I swerve around the barbed wire, going 75.
The kudzu flanks, reaches in to grab me.
Curls me on its tongue, threatening to swallow.
But I've got mammaw's gardening shears,
And sense enough to cut close to the base.

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