We head for the sinkhole that just opened up
in the neighborhood, a bit of news, not on a par
with the rapist’s arrest, but still news, so we cross
the main drag, listen for sirens.
A father and son in the distance
stalk past variegated flax lilies
fresh in the ground, perfect piles
of debris next to overgrown grass.
We pass the for-sale sign near the corner house
rounded so many times, keep going
out of habit. After ambling the circle,
her business complete, the dog pulls
toward the karst, as if to refocus our intent
past predictable points to the downpour’s
new pond, past projection to absorb
the undulating bass chords of frogs.
Soon it’s dark, too late to make
the gaping scene, so we turn for home
back up the trail with our old dog,
who moves slowly, nosing sky and mulch
an animal’s scent in the woods, rain smells
while the water’s weight accumulates,
limestone sinks and the ground caves,
foot by footfall, drop by drop.
— from The Carolina Quarterly
reprinted in Verse Daily (9/10/2017)