I Hear There is a River Underground

Murmuring voices whisper my fears
at the lip of the cave.
You swear they are just
_____a susurrus of streams,
indifference mounting an echo,
making mouths
_____at nothing,

_____but the growling
hollows me the way a tree dies
at the core:
_____diseased heartwood
moribund while cambium persists.

Another swimmer, local girl,
hovers for a moment at the edge, small
caution, then she leaps.

_____I can almost
hear the wind slide through her
agile body like a flute,
meting out a trill
as she, brave embouchure, finds
rest around the province of the tune.


Photo by Brooke Gottmeier