John Davis Jr.

Everglades Requiem

Everything’s opposite
of how it should be here.
Dark egrets trace a bright swamp
full of alien Asian once-
pet pythons – captives released
by well-meaning misunderstanding.

Sawgrass teeth spaces grow wider,
trying to sustain their smile while crooked
snakes infest each gap, growing fatter
off native species, ill-equipped victims
of wide jaws and expandable bellies
they pass through, large lumps consumed
by the unexpected unfamiliar.

Skinned knees of Bald Cypress protrude
their injuries above water-level,
exposing the hurts we all feel –
scraped, scratched, shat-upon spires –
reminders of a swallowed ecology,
a time before airboats and politics.


John Davis Jr., a Florida poet whose work has been published internationally, including recent appearances in Steel Toe Review, Deep South magazine, Floyd County Moonshine, and Touch: The Journal of Healing. He is also finishing his MFA in creative writing at the University of Tampa.


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