Deep in the boggy bayou
of the Honey Island Swamp
a Louisiana booger bigger
than a Bigfoot tromps through
the fetid fen. Water moccasins
and gators don’t give him any grief.
He’d as soon eat as greet ‘em,
and there ain’t no fruit or root
beyond his opposing thumb and finger reach.
He don’t mess with tools or cutlery,
and he ain’t particular about what he eats –
fish or fowl, roots or berries, small mammals –
even ill-informed, intrepid humans –
anything raw and ready – or stupid enough
to cross his path, will end up in his belly.
Still, he’s shy and retirin’; don’t want
no truck with us, let alone a cameo
or featured spot on yer flat screen telly.
He’s mostly known by his three-toed
footprints and his horrid shriek.
Get closer though and you’ll know him
soon enough by his awful reek.
It’ll curl yer toes, clear yer nose,
make yer eyes water for a week.
Ain’t no one caught a specimen yet,
let alone filled his arse with lead.
He’s too clever; his sense of smell acute.
So if yer expectin’ a photo op,
want him to pose for y’all
gnawin’ on a ham hock or stuffin’
his gullet with some nuts or berries,
forget it. You’ll be lucky to catch
his hairy butt bookin’ it through
the trees. Ain’t about to bow or scrape,
let alone mug with his arm around
some ingrate tourist on a toot.
Leave him alone; he’ll leave you alone.
Follow him? … You’ll end up staying
for dinner — as the steak tartar.
The guy who took all the plaster casts
and got hair samples from the trees
tracked him deeper into the swamp
than most folks have ever been.
We ain’t seen hide nor hair of him,
never mind his boat or clothes.
The booger musta torn him to bits
and used the wood to floss his teeth.
Didn’t so much as find a handful
of booger scat; don’t expect we ever will.
That’s the long and short of it, though
we do have some skunk funk
hair samples, books, and photos for sale…