ethel’s words

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SWAMP

Where the sky-washed waters of the Wasatch
meet the Jordan River,
there was a swamp, a lovely swamp,
teeming with life; with life-forms.
I gathered cat-tails there,
and watched the guppies
dart among fronds
in shallow water.

Now, the creek is hidden under concrete;
the swamp is gone,
and gone are all the dragonflies;
their iridescent wings
that flirt with sun
no longer seen;
their lilting flight
no longer to enchant us
on a summer day.

Frogs, too. They lost this home
that smelled of standing water;
their benediction
that we heard at dusk,
and through
the evening drift of darkness,
sounds no more.

The red-winged blackbird
left to find another home.
He needs a place that has strong reeds
to hold a nest,
his artistry to please a mate.

The gentle, graceful water snakes,
dancers in a drama
joining sun and water,
that I loved to watch in childhood
--gone, all gone.

Beautiful Planet, your death,
your lingering slow death--
oh!--at least is long preceded
by my own.

Ethel C. Hale