Venus of the Swamp

let me tell you the story of venus of the swamp.

how she emerged

fully formed

from the pond scum;

her hair thick with algae

her teeth sharp with promise.

let me tell you of where she learned

of alligator nests and possum dens

of undertow and sinkholes

of the washed up, bloated bodies of

milk-carton girls

caught in the rocks.

 

would you believe me if I told you of venus of the swamp?

of a goddess

brought up on cautionary tales

and bred for vengeance?

of a warrior 

tempered by controlled burns

who strangled the melaleuca trees right back?

 

I have to ask

would you believe me if I told you a love story?

me neither.

so let me tell you the story of venus of the swamp

and let me tell you of what she loved--

of cypress knees and missing posters

of tourist trees and women with keys for claws

of last resorts and lost causes

 

and let me tell you of what she did--

of choked pythons and the drowned bodies of hungry men

of when the hurricane spared even the littlest fern

of yearning for a fair world

and building it yourself

of passion and compassion

of protection and revenge

and always, in the end,

love

This poem is about: 
My community
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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