In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Everglades National Park and its partners proudly hosted the Everglades Wilderness Writing Expedition! This program engaged 10 aspiring writers and journalists, ages 18-25, on an exploration of wilderness, self-discovery and environmental writing. These aspiring writers embarked on the journey of a lifetime to discover the beauty and complexity of the Everglades wilderness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chekika (By Dylann Turffs)

Chekika ¬ ¬We curl ourselves through water, over road, headlamps dotting the landscape like shifting constellations. A trickle through sawgrass, we are careful to shine the earth before each step. I avoid the scent of burn from the east, savoring the illusion of solitude until I look down. Spears of grass flex past thousands of animals shifting to evade my gait. We wait for the air’s drop, until the night sweats itself through our clothes, and then we walk north. I see bodies where there are none, see reptiles striping the road but approach to find them empty scars in the pavement, lit with life by my expectancy. Finally, a snake. Its green skin striped, iridescent from within its bones. It bulges, rooted on the road by a recently swallowed frog. I lay my body alongside, turn off all lights. The world here is split: the sepia of the sky, the silhouette of ground. I startle a nighthawk, see it part from earth, take off to freckle the sky.

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