It must have seemed good sense to drain the swamps,
The marshes, sloughs, and other secret places.
For surely they appeared to be land wasted
On snakes, sawgrass, and other useless things.
They would have missed the wonders hidden there,
The rich detritus feeding tiny creatures
Who became meals themselves to feed the larger
Creatures who were surely of no value.
How would they know the secrets of the wetlands?
Why, even if the people there had told them
What did they know, those bands of ragged stragglers,
All fugitives, and ignorant of progress?
Thus, everglades and swamps made way for suburbs,
Canals, toll roads and malls, airports and farmland.
Now all must vie for water become precious
Where once it seemed the wetlands stretched forever.
Professors prowl remains of once great systems
Describing remnants in scholastic volumes,
While Seminoles and Miccosukees get rich
Off gambling, booze and cigarettes for tourists.