Saturday, August 27, 2011

Crying River

fourth largest spring in the world

cave wide as a

four-lane highway

deep as a

five-story building

primeval river

home to Creatures

great and small

real and unreal

alligators in the grass

gill men in their lairs

skinny-necked anhingas dry wings

on baldcypress

yellow-legged moorhens tend babies

on the banks

heron, ibis, cormorant

egrets in young plumage


cardinal flowers among

wax myrtle, islands of

clear water amid murk

algae-coated eelgrass

“Once so clear it was transparent 120 feet down”

says the ranger


cloudy bluegreen water

covers head spring

the ranger says


the ranger says


it will be clear again someday

he says

“nature will take care of it”

we won’t see it

I hear echoes of

my geology teacher:

“If these springs ever get polluted,

it will take thousands of years for them

to get clean”

Would Tallahassee move its spray field

for this wonder?

Couldn’t we all use

less water?

How do we dissolve nitrates, phosphorus?

How do we reverse the damage?

Above the spring

I search for my reflection

See only cloudy murk

And ask myself

Why didn’t I come 20 years ago?

What took me so long?

And I cry, Wakulla

I cry