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The pond lies still, yet there are
ripples beneath lily pads,
and all the better, if one views them
with the kind of eyes
that find the genuine in the mythic:

This park’s a hatchery for trout,
the young ones jumping high,
as broken concrete forms
much of the path that curves past
the pond near the cold cave where
summer negates itself, leaving tourists to
gaze—shivering—into a darkness no one can

enter. Blind fish hover,
blowing true bubbles in the cavern’s false rain,
and one fish—as old as death—
guards the low-hanging entrance,
lurking behind a rotten canoe, where
the falls fall into the emerald water.

Their source—a spring—is merely a trickle
along the steep and winding trail,
up above on the cliff, where the whitewater
dashes like a June bride, hurriedly,
downstream, making short-lived water-doilies
in the hot Missouri sun.

first published in Independence Boulevard

August 2008
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