Syphon Fountain

A poem

Melinda Josie

An oddity of mountain land
the earliest explorers found
were springs that ebbed and flowed by turn.
It was a true phenomenon,
where water would gush out and then
go slack and dry for no reason.
Some speculated on the source
but could propose no likely gloss.
Then it was Thomas Jefferson
who named an alternating run
a “syphon fountain,” a cavity
in rock that filled to capacity
and reached the overflow. A duct
or sinus through the rock would suck
the water caught, to empty out
the reservoir of all its budget.
And then the chamber would fill again
until the water reached the rim,
its rhythm sure and periodic
as any tide or pulse or clock.