Miracle of the Pond, a poem by Michael Channing

Miracle of the Pond

by Michael Channing

there’s a pond behind our building
scooped out of the soft ground
lined with black tarp
filled with water a dark chemical blue
a fountain spits the occasional rainbow
when the light comes in right
surrounded by rocks worn smooth
by other bodies of water
a scrabble of plants
no fish
plenty of tadpoles that cycle through each year
a guy who ambles down twice a week
and clears out the sticks
the wind and children toss in

one day it was gone
water drained to a puddle
mud-smeared tarp exposed like a wound
braided snake of wires bleeding from the fountain
fountain on its side like a scuttled boat
for three days it was empty
maintenance guy scrubbed and smoothed the tarp
moved the fountain
tugged the wiring straight
ducks waggled through like tourists
kids the same
left footprints in the muck
like the ones on the moon
but deeper

then one morning we all woke up
to the fountain splashing in a space-blue pond
waterline risen to the circle of rocks
all repaired all refilled
i couldn’t help but marvel at the sight
one day a pond the next day not
one day empty the next one whole
how easy this miracle had been to perform
and how the ducks seemed unimpressed

The Space Between Wonder and Doubt

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing

July 2, 2021