Jefferson Island, 1980 by Jack. B. Bedell
One puncture drained the whole lake
into a salt dome.
Then the drilling platform,
boats, and trucks parked nearby
along the bank.
All down the same hole.
The island was no longer
an island without water
to set its borders.
Silt bottom dried slowly,
stared at the sky like a blank face,
until one night after a rain
the water came back.
Pine trees swayed in the breeze
coming off Lake Peigneur. Shore birds
swam in patterns between stumps.
First morning light brought
the gift of fog settling
above the tusks of mastodons,
reminders this place will be,
whether or not we are.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Elliptic (Yellow Flag Press, 2016), Revenant (Blue Horse Press, 2016), and No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, fall 2018). Currently, he has been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.