Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Day 14

I only now got the chance to sit down and really think about today’s prompt–something to do with an island, as I recall. I’ve marked somewhere north of 30 papers today, and still have more to do, but I had to have a break for a bit.

So here’s the story. Fort Lauderdale, and most of the southeast coast of Florida, is mostly islands, some natural, many not, but it’s often hard to tell from the ground when you’re driving around (because no one walks–that’s for another time) because of all the buildings. But an aerial view is really illuminating, because it really shows off just how many bridges there are around here. I took that and tied in a little of Florida’s reputation for land speculation for this poem.

Island Cities

Blink-and-you-miss-them bridges
cross rivers lined by seven-figure homes
just blocks from where I live,
what’s known as an “at risk” community,
teetering on the edge of shaky,
but will be ready for gentrification
when the market comes back.
And it will come back–this
is south Florida, where speculators
come to die. All islands down here,
though you’d never know
from ground level. Aerial maps
show it clear–fingers jut into ocean,
canals reroute the rivers to service
more homes, boatslips. Waterfront
sells at a premium, friend, so we
make waterfront. We make islands.
And when the waters rise,
we’ll jack up the mansions
and build houseboats, open up
water limousine services, and sell
the space atop the skyscrapers
as luxury arboretums, oases
in a saltwater desert.


April 14, 2010 - Posted by | National Poetry Month, original poetry, Poetic Asides |

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