There’s a hole in the middle of the square
in a small town in Florida,
so round as to look human-made.
Some say it was formed by a meteor,
others, a sink-hole.
Legend has it’s a bottomless pit
to the center of the earth,
black as pitch, never successfully plumbed
by anyone who survived.
That was before a geologic survey
determined the maximum depth--sixteen feet.
A quaint village was built around it
to accommodate a Chautauqua branch,
and still it stands, draped with Spanish moss
from live oaks damp with hot humidity.
Despite the depth of ignorance at its center,
many schools came and went,
making it Florida’s Athens
in the early nineteenth century.
The state’s oldest operating library
stands sentinel over gloried archives.
Stumbling upon the town on a trek
to the glorious wide horizon of earth, sky, and sea
at the end of the beached south, you, too,
will gaze in wonder at the village
lost in time:
the caladium-edged brick walking path
brooded over by hanging gardens
of fuchsia, ferns, and bougainvillea
in the deep southern cicadaed shade.
But it’s the lake, like grief, that beckons
as a Siren to Psyche--
attractive, dark, deceptively deep,
echoing what we each forget:
meteoric damage can be plumbed
to create lovely communities of wisdom around it,
for even sink holes harbor eternal springs
that connect to oceans of care.
© February 2018, Tess Lockhart. All rights reserved.