Invasive Bittersweet

I wink a thousand yellow rimmed
and red eyes, where I twist and climb

and from the rise will thread my vines
to see the roots that settlers spread,

their spawn more numerous than all
the people of the dawn, who fished

and trod unceded land where now
in snakelike fashion I will mount

this leafy stand, annex this tree,
and send my many offspring forth

to ride both wind and winged beak
to soil rich in bone and shell,
to glint and shine or dark and rough

bands of rudderless waves that swell
and tumble to possess the land.

Why, may I ask, am I despised?
I came from away, far I’ve roamed;

this is my way, a stranglehold
on other’s backs, to find the sun,

to thrust my leaves toward blazing gold
to follow the imperative,

the crucial need, disperse my seed;
I’m only doing what others have done.

© 2023 Nancy Sobanik
Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, (More info.)