The poem unbounded and believed, risen from a sandy soil and left to the hands of nieces and nephews without a word written down.

Just “this ancient shell ring.” “That wax myrtle.” “The crooked live oak.” “All the land between.”

The poem within that scrapes itself on the thatched bark of a young palmetto as it tries to extricate itself.

A young girl still wet from Skull Creek toweling her hair in the yard that her family has sat in since the first Union troops wrote home about malaria and marsh. About the dry-throated call of the great blue heron gliding out of its solitude.

Out of the poem.

John Allman | Mudlark No. 31
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