to Tom Maddox.Net
Water vapor rises off the sea. Drawn over the warm
mass of land, it forms high towers of cloud, white and gray and black and orange.
Lightning strokes climb the cloud towers; rains pour.
Old channels dug by man disappear under the rising
stream as the river flows south, swollen with its new water. Lake Okeechobee
takes in the river, then swarms over its boundaries, where dikes once restrained
Silver sheets sweep across the sea of grass. Herons
flap their wings and poke with sharp bills at silvery shapes just under the
water’s surface; the birds raise their heads and swallow down the fish
with a brisk shiver. Alligators slide from mud banks with quick carnivorous
Here fields once were tilled, planted, and soaked
with chemical fertilizer that ran into the rivers and canals along with the
pesticides and detergent scum. No more. Sawgrass and weed and dock and all
steaming uncut profusion stir in the water and the heat. Life teems in the
flood, none of it human.
At the ocean’s edge, gulls scream overhead.
A turtle moves slowly, unmolested across hot sand. All along the silent coastal
canals, egrets stand like placid sentinels against an enemy they know will
back to top
This work is licensed under a Creative