Henry Lewis, "Prairie on fire," 1854-1858
Arundo donax, that invasive giant, waves to us this morning with the wind, breathing our breath. It’s an immigrant to the muddy sloughs of Texas, must be split then bound to sing Handel or Bach or Strauss: migrants cut down, split then bound, for a European music. Love, I’d rather the music was lost to memory, the invaders kept intact and green for frog-song and bird-song, but it’s late for that wish: all our wetlands burning, all songs turning to ashes. Only after our heartache’s planted will cracked mud smile a new reed.