Choked Up On Plastic In The Lagoon

Cigar mouthpeices. Cigarette butts. Corona and Bud Light bottle caps scored into the ground by tramping feet. Licorice wrappers. Juice boxes. Florida State Lottery tickets awash in the shallows next to carcasses of catfish. I kid you not.

Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, Mountain Dew. The fragments of peel away milk jug tops. The serrated rings of plastic left behind from a twenty-ounce soda bottle. Lighters. Slurpee straws with the scooping end still intact. Chinese takeout. And even what might have been a used prophylactic. I didnt investigate that one too closely.

I cannot contain myself. I hold them in one hand, then two, then my jacket pockets are starting to fill. I offload it into the recycling containers and trashcans that are just yards away from the point where land and sea meet. The bins go unnoticed.. or disregarded.

The wind is strong. Brown pelicans are on the ground. A flock of royal terns graces the parking lot. Osprey sit in their nest high up on the telephone poles. Only the sanderlings are out in this racket, weaving inbetween manmade debris and seeking out dinner with slender beaks. They scatter across a plastic bag that has become imprisoned in the estuary mud.

Windsurfers watch me walk by on this resolute mission as they assemble their gear. Their expressions are questioning, but they stay silent long enough to hear the snap of my camera. The purpose of my scratchings in the sand and my shakes of dismay and full pockets seem obvious to me. Its all brutally apparent through my lenses of understanding. Yet it seems that not enough of us have the clarity of mind to look and see, both at once, this overwhelming problem.

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