Moonlit Marsh

Moonlight trickled through
oaks, elms, and sweetgums
dressed in bright mossy skirts of
malachite-colored sequins.

Yellow and orange-red tubular flowers
of cross vine adorned their trunks.
Tree limbs swayed to sustained winds,
clattered with crescendo gusts.

Wind accompanied by
hoots of a barred owl,
croaks of bull frogs,
yips and howls of coyotes.

Raccoons, skunks, and
opossums promenaded
across the dance floor,
dense carpet of Asiatic Dayflowers.

Southern Lady Ferns fanned
light green, lacy fronds.
Lemony fragrance of crushed spice brush
muted the earthiness of the marsh.

Sweetgum balls littered the ground
like party confetti.
When the moon bid good night,
calmness consumed the marsh.

Previously published in the 2020 Summer Poetry Quarterly

Suzanne Cottrell

Suzanne Cottrell is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Gifts of the Seasons, Autumn and Winter; Gifts of the Seasons, Spring and Summer; and Scarred Resilience; and a hybrid book, Nature Calls Outside My Window, A Collection of Poems and Stories (Kelsay Books). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives with her husband in central, rural North Carolina. She is an outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, who enjoys reading, hiking, knitting, Pilates, and yoga. Read more about her writing journey at