Departing early, a bleak snowfall,
we fly away from sleepy St. Paul.

In Tampa, we seek heart and sun,
dreaming nearly never done.

Winter where it should be warm,
out at sea, a distant storm.

Gaping cormorants flap and dry.
Live oak mosses drift and sigh.

Stiff iguanas fall from trees.
In the cove, gray manatees.

A river runs from swamp of green,
decay of the Pleistocene.

A Bufo toad vibrates in dark.
Heralding morning, black dog barks.

Over sponge docks, sun attempts.
Panama hats in silhouettes.

Weeki Wachee mermaids flow,
burbling of Michelangelo.

Cracovia serves cheesy pierogis
to sisters, cousin, five old fogies.

We tiptoe ’round political hats,
eating seafood, healthy fats.

The temperature, unseasonably cool,
raindrops pock the local pool.

Flight is near to ice and snow.
We toast farewell with cups of joe.

Poet Donna Isaac is a teaching artist and organizer/curator/host of community readings and workshops. Published work includes a poetry book, Footfalls (Pocahontas Press); three chapbooks, Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press); Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks); Persistence of Vision (Finishing Line Press); and work in literary journals.