by Women Writers of Alaska

For: M*

Eaisto Swamp

Oh that black water swamp with it’s dark tonic stain
Decay is its color that only time can obtain
At a snail’s pace, it moves north to south to the sea
Though stagnant it appears it is never at ease.

When the red oak and cypress draw from its blood
Her canopy swells and shades all with her hood
Her quiet cool shadows conceal all of her jewels
One look in from outside and her gravity pulls

It’s not of this world when compared to our own
Alive and wild but unseen and unknown
Deer and duck swim and no ripple they make
While gators below, motionless, they wait.

The fish eagerly wait for their meals form the trees
As lizards and worms fall from squirrels shaking leaves
Hawks and owls patiently wait high in the tops
When they fly in the swamp, everything stops

Its world is its water in it everything thrives
It feels and sustains all these wonderful lives
Its silent and shadowed abundance of living
Its life is its living, her taking is giving

Her dark water feeds this silent black mill
How something so wild can be so eerily still
What stories her century trees could tell
Through high and low waters her trunks have stood still.

I’ll move at the pace that these black waters flow
So I too can see what cypress trees know
Life is life after and it’s reborn again
Her noise is the silence that lies deep within.

This black water lures me deep into the trees
The silence is deadly and her movement is free
Those that are above, knows not what’s below
Yet they prey on each other like indelible foe.

All that dies in the swamp feeds her dark water veins
The more that she dies the more that she gains.
I’m connected to the swamp, her and I are the same
I can’t fathom the struggles but I do feel her pain.


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