It’s 72° out, and I know it’s most likely the last time I’ll be able to say that until November. The water’s calm, and the shad are jumping. Nothing to save out here but energy. If I close my eyes, I can hear reeds stretching to sky, feel the vines on my back turn toward the sunshine. No screams. No squint-eyed generals plotting meanness against the swamp. No reason to hazard anything under fluorescent lights. No reason at all.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of 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, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, Sport Literate, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, and other journals. His latest collection is Color All Maps New (Mercer University Press, 2021). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.
image: Nikki Dudley