Jack B. Bedell

Swamp Thing Decides to Give Prayer a Chance

Lord, if rage fixed anything, I wouldn’t be looking at oil floating up to this shore grass or whole levees caving in under waves. I’ve got plenty anger, been a zealot. I’ve sacrificed my only beloved Linda, gave her life away to save our work in the lab. Like your own son, I’ve given my flesh and my blood trying to ease the burdens of others. But here we are. So I’m asking you, Lord, to please start smiting folks so I don’t have to. Find the people filling this marsh with refuse. Rain down on them with the fire you’ve kept to yourself for far too long. Even if they’ve left this earth, they surely have family you can send into the wilderness.

Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in HAD, Rejection Letters, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, Cotton Xenomorph, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, and other journals. His most recent collection is Color All Maps New (Mercer University Press, 2021). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.