Swamp Thing Has a Change of Heart About Invasive Species

by Jack Bedell

When I was a man, I used to sit on the end of the dock fretting over hyacinths and nutria clogging up the bayou. I had genuine dread over tiger shrimp wiping out our local species. Now, hidden in the palmettos, I watch government skiffs putt downstream with agents cradling their guns and dropping depth charges into the water, and I can’t help but root for the carp leaping at their helmets, can’t stop praying for the snakeheads here to grow large enough to pull these men out of their tents at night and drag them into the water for safekeeping.

Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in Southern ReviewPidgeonholesThe ShoreOkay DonkeyEcoTheoThe HopperTerrain, and other journals. His latest collection is Color All Maps New (Mercer University Press, 2021). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.