Reflections on an old lover

(Caloosahatchee River)

by Mark Renz

There are rare moments
when I can still see
and smell and taste you
as you must have flowed
for thousands of years
You were and always will be
my first love

I realize
during those fleeting moments
why so many have fallen
for your graceful streaming curves
and moist, succulent airplants

Yet, I will never understand
why we could not appreciate you
as you were
why we felt the need
to conquer you
to transform you
from all-giving lover
to wretched and unrecognizable beast
confused and left for dead

This may be who we are
but it is not who we
are capable of being
Forgive us
Forgive me