What a disguise She has!
Cars honk, interstates criss-cross,
golf courses manicure each square inch of land.
Shopping malls and theme parks, parking lots,
What a big charade!
But turn away just once,
just once turn away from the clamor
toward the quiet lanes.
Look up! A bald eagle settles in
high in the branches of the live oak over your head.
A gopher turtle clambers on its bony legs
right across the road.
The alligator floats, seeming so gentle,
back and forth, back and forth across the lake.
The ineffable scent of orange blossom fills the air,
suspending all one’s notions of what is and what should be.
The ibis, straight as an arrow,
flies to her nest with a fish in her beak.
Good going! You have seen beneath Her disguise,
Our Florida, our flowered land,
our fountain of ever-renewing youth,
March 30, 2014