This evening walk around Lettuce Lake
begins on the planks of good intentions.
Palm fronds droop, like fingers over railing, over land
sliding below wetland, and weeds
yielding along an indeterminable wave to duckweed,
a false green carpet to the door of the lake.
Bald cypresses, wearing beards of moss, sit
surprised in water, their grayish knees
breathing above the rootless bladderworts.
Here, the wading bird is king, the Great Egret
picking its way between land and lake,
spearing the temporary frog to an unexpected hump of ground.
Here, the roseate spoonbill swirls the mud.
Even the osprey, which nests in feathertips of trees,
must bury itself in the lake, wings held up
like an archaic angel landing on a gravestone,
before rising with silver in its beak.
And here, reads the sign in stainless steel raised by park authorities,
is Alzheimer’s Walk
that travels two feet above the bog, two feet
from the leafy stink, but does not sink.