what’s wild

what’s wild

By Brendan Walsh

Wakodahatchee Wetlands

not the Great Blue Heron
wading to-its-ankles in alligator swamp
the bluer sky unbothered by cloud
not the algae-shelled Florida Cooter
whose yellow-slashed neck retracts
at sound striations bellowing the water
not butterwort, bladderwort;
the leaves that feed on flies
not wood storks blotting the black trees white
or blank honks of geese at the far pond
whose wings know first frost
and weary miles of air
it’s how we built highways
around this—called stone a road,
tree a home, rain a drink,
gator not god but meat
it’s that we call coming here
visiting not returning
not belonging not
what is so clearly, definitely lost

Brendan Walsh has fallen in love with South Korea, Laos, and all of New England; he currently lives in South Florida to sate his palm tree needs. He has been published in Connecticut Review, LONTAR, Wisconsin Review, Lines + Stars, and other journals. His second collection, 'Go,' was published by Aldrich Press in 2016. His work has been awarded the Anna Sonder Prize of the Academy of American Poets, the Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize, and a Freedman Prize for poetry in performance. He can be found at www.brendanwalshpoetry.com

Featured imaged courtesy the author.