Art Gephyr

The Fountain

The fountain in the kitchen patio
sings all year.

In the gap between the last freeze
and the spring flowers,
fed by heavy rains and untamed by chlorine,
the fountain bloomed
a submerged wonderland
fit for Jacques Cousteau.

Or, as the yard-hand grumbled,
a rotting cesspool,
a mosquito breeding ground
in desperate need of a chemical tablet.

That's when it caught my eye,
amongst all the writhing life,
a bug, a beautiful beast,
compact, dense like a bullet,
built like a submarine
and in that moment it saw us,
and shot deep into the murky green bunker,
an admiral preparing for war.

The next day
I witnessed the slaughter.
The green faded.
Carcasses strewn across the surface.

Like a king killed in battle,
I saw its majestic body afloat
gently bobbing in the ripples,
an outstretched arm shaped like a paddle,
a final salute.

The overhead trees mourned its passing.
They shed tears of pods
that encircled its body,
a funeral wreath of lilies.

The yard-hand collected
the mournful procession
in the pool net,
along with other debris,
without ceremony, or notice,
and flipped it into the garbage.