Captain Al described the island as uninhabitable, un-walkable, spooky as we passed an opening where you could almost see through the first layer of twisted roots and branches "I don't think anyone ever wrote a poem about walking through the mangrove island," he said and I took it as a challenge
I've kayaked through mangroves I've touched their branches to push my kayak back on course I've passed by a crocodile, still as a rock sunning on the shore framed by mangroves and other crocodiles too Captain Al himself told us of the hidden prairie as we passed the last key, complete with a beach a family used to come on and off the shore of their home there years ago
Now I learn that mangrove pods contain fully developed miniature mangroves that float horizontally as far away from their parent tree as they can before turning vertical and planting their roots in the muddy ground "Seem familiar?" Captain Al asks
My dad, next to me on the boat asks if this must mean the mangrove islands keep expanding "Oh yes," Captain Al says "Beautiful beaches are temporary."
I probably won't ever walk through the twisting muddy mangrove island where I might finally get a few feet in only to be greeted by a crocodile But I can boat by I can watch the anhingas, herons, osprey and egrets I can peer through the branches I can imagine walking through And I can certainly write a poem