La Florida, my daughter’s best friend laughed when she heard that I was celebrating your 500th birthday.

La Florida has your beauty blinded me, too? Spaniards and Englishmen fought over you like jealous lovers. Founded in tears and blood yet you now laugh like an innocent child at Disney World.

La Florida so hot, yet so cool in those designer sunshades. Controversial yet complacent. Every four years they woo you only to be astounded by your shameful ways.

La Florida Ocean blue and palm green are your favorite colors. Defined by water while still defying every definition.

A river that runs north. Ancient wetlands and modern high rises. Quiet beaches, loud theme parks and a dismantled space station. A place of dreams and disappointments.

La Florida Henry Flagler was seduced by your beauty and tried in vain to conquer you.

Tame yet so wild. La Florida You flirt with old and young alike.

Five hundred years ago Ponce De Leon set sail dreaming of gold and the “Fountain of Youth.”

La Florida he penned your name and claimed he had discovered you. Did he not know that he was not the first of your many lovers?

The state of Florida’s written history began when Ponce de Leon landed on its east coast more than 500 years ago on Easter. Prior to that Native American’s called Florida home. My poem “La Florida” that I penned last year during Florida’s 500 birthday pays tribute to the state of Florida.


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