Art: "Endless Reign" by William Fillmore
Poetry: "Memoir of the Florida Swamp" by Terry Ann Thaxton
–Over 31 percent of Florida is wetlands. Ninety percent of those wetlands are
freshwater (over 18,500 square miles), with only 10 percent being saltwater
marshes and mangroves (approximately 2,000 square miles).
I’ll come back as a prairie in Colorado instead of plastering Florida with thick mud.
Sopping arms and sadness will transform into buffalo grass and sparrows.
Why do I insist on being heard?
I am muddied curtains smeared on the windows of trucks.
My thick water rises and falls. I am open. I give myself away.
They call me ugly and fat. I am major flood control.
I hang on my last hope like moss on cypress limbs.
I take myself back. In my body are nests. Grief falls from these trees.
I crouch behind palmetto tail
I purify water. My lap of heavy water holds bicycles keys
loneliness hampers. My body is fern
is shadowed glass is a shelf lined with turtle heads. My body imagines
rags and ribbons laced over a door. My body becomes rain
becomes sludge. Why can’t I create clear boundaries?
Yes, I’ve always been a witch, lying low. I’ll come back
as the sky: cracked mud turned to white flowers.
Published April 2nd 2023
Terry Ann Thaxton has published three poetry collections: Mud Song (2017), Getaway Girl (2011), and The Terrible Wife (2013), as well as a textbook, Creative Writing in the Community: A Guide (Bloomsbury, 2014). Two of her poetry books have been awarded a Florida Book Award. She’s published essays and poetry in New Letters, The Missouri Review, Chattahoochee Review, Pithead Chapel, CALYX, Gulf Coast, and other journals. She teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida.
Endless Reign, Painted Stoneware, Fabric, and Steel 20in x 10in x 10in 2020, Misunderstanding sings from the Universe.