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Wednesday, August 08, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

Welcome to the state's only honest-to-nature lake. Caddo Lake we call it, as in the Caddo Indians who gave our single star its name. We boated here. We fished here. And now it looks like a field of poison ivy. It's like a badly made too brightly colored horror film. Didn't even make it to the drive-in. Salvinia Molesta doubles in size every two or three days. Nothing can live beneath this. Part of the lake's in Louisiana, and screw Katrina and all its hardships, it's time to move on. We're talking wildlife here. We're talking homes for future generations. This god damn plant's just the latest wetback swimming past guards at the border. Tejas, Tejas, they can't even say where they are or what they're doing here. Friend.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.