The John H. Bennett, Jr., Prize
Habitat, Home, Harbor
As in a flock of coots gliding in a path-winding slip of water
through cat tails in breeze-bending marsh;
As in a small john boat moored after men fished
for spot tail bass; as in the catch of the day enough to feed
a family of four. As in abiding by limits,
leaving behind the not-needed;
As in peaceful places, despite dangers living there.
As if left alone the alligator is at home, warming
on the pluff-mud bank in winter’s sun. As in brackish waters
where wild rice and millet flower and feed Blue-wing Teals,
Wood Ducks, and Pintails; as in bull rush enough
to weave and plait baskets to sell.
As in seven Ring-billed Gulls perched on pilings,
tails to the wind.