Slow, whole notes draw the swamp’s pulse
right up to her lap. Skinks and grasshoppers
crawl across the grass, baby squirrels
and rabbits come out from the woods,
and mosquito hawks float in the air
around her shoulders. Even eagles
dive out of the sky to be near her song.
She sings as if her pitch could
feed the whole swamp, as if
the breadcrumbs she offers, could
heal all need. Her melodies stoke
the breeze and pull the tides
toward her heart, and all the eyes around
blink in rhythm with her blood.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in Southern Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, The Shore, Pidgeonholes, Cotton Xenomorph, Terrain, and other journals. His latest poetry collection is No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, 2018). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate from 2017-2019.
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