Monday, November 17, 2014

Concentrate, a poem


The smell of burnt oranges fills heaven,
rising with the caracara
from the prairie swamp. It is
a long, flat two-lane way from the coast

to Lake Okeechobee, broken only
by Immokalee, sleeping still
when I drove through. But the plants
run all night, up by the lake,

turning the golden fruit to juice,
concentrating Florida
for consumption. Pillar of smoke,
pillar of fire, lead me on,

though I know not why I was chosen,
no more than the high-humped Brahma cattle
that watch me pass, the red-wing singing
in the ditch. As time passes, unobserved,

all that is me is concentrated
here, on a road that leads
to dawn. Why question what may lie
beyond this smell of oranges?

Stephen Brooke ©2014

a route I frequently drove, once upon a time, across the empty country between Naples and the lake

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