By Miranda Kelly
Near the coast on the water’s edge
there lives a Mangrove Man
who was raised and rooted
with respect for the land.
“Look over that way”
“That’s where I was born
and got up with my brothers each new morning.”
He has watched the birds closely
and swam in the waves
and defended their shore
when developers came.
his eyes sinking in at the edges,
and tells of men in dark suits who come to barter with pledges,
and lust after his family’s land
for resorts or her lucrative minerals,
for the gains she could bring them:
she is only disposable.
“So I stay here and protect”
he says with a weak smile and nothing more,
“but I don’t know what will happen even before my lifetime is over.”
Obviously distressed is he,
for beautifully sacred is she
the water’s forest to the aged driver of lanchas,
the Mangrove Man,
with love raised and rooted
in respect for the land.