Poems by Andrew Hemmert

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At the Collier County Rest Area

by Andrew Hemmert

From Canary Spring 2016

Andrew splits his time between the Big Muddy River watershed and the Middle St. Johns River watershed.

The arms of oaks and pond cypress reach over
a barbed wire fence. Wolfberry and catgut
cross into close-cut grass. Here at the border
between lawn and swamp, I want the bone-break sound
of twigs to announce more than dusk is with me.
I peer past the chain-links into the slate-green
shade of trees, hoping to catch last light
glinting off two eyes. I want something wild

in this place of picnic tables carved with hearts
and names, this place of flags dangling limp
on their poles like speared egrets, this place
of parking lots vacant except for the car
that brought me here. Before the highway
takes me back into itself, let me see

that something is alive, or let night pave
darkness over what tried to cross the road—
bodies of possums and raccoons blooming
on the shoulders, gators peeled open
like blown-out tires.

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