On a Louisiana Beach. Andrea Wyatt.

1 Jan

On a Louisiana Beach

Months after the spill
in Plaquemines Parish,
some migrant green-winged teal blues,
a few mallards who stopped to rest on the mudflats,
unaware of a Royal Dutch Shell oil spill,
90,000 gallons;

In every storm and tidal surge,
oil will flow–
over salt marsh and mangrove swamp
oil will flow–
over reeds and water lilies,
over blue crabs and ghost crabs
suffocating in the mud,
oil will flow;

clutch each frightened bird,
focus on the feathers,
the skin, the webbing,
protect their eyes and wings,
quietly whistle under your breath,
to calm their fright.

Andrea Wyatt

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