by Jack B. Bedell
It’s a stag party out here tonight at the water’s edge. There must be a hundred ouaouaron hunkered down to their eyeballs along the bank, just bellowing their toes up. All volume and urgency. They swell and call inland toward the trees. And not a single one of them lets size or distance or numbers or time cast any doubt on where this night’s headed. Their whole plan’s foolproof, actually. Makes me wonder if I’ve been going about it all wrong walking from one end of this swamp to the other every day looking for salvation. Maybe they’ve found the truth. No matter how high this water gets, how dead the trees, or how hot the air, as long as you can keep your mouth above surface enough to call out, heaven might just make its way to you.
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 HAD, Heavy Feather, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, Moist, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, and other journals. His latest collection is Against the Woods’ Dark Trunks (Mercer University Press, 2022). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.