*Underwater photo by Laurie W. Wajima
Today the thermometer
beneath Guard Station One
read 72 degrees which explains
why it’s easier to get into the water
and harder to swim three-quarters
of a mile, a modest distance
for Barton Springs lappers.
We’re in a drought,
measure rain by phrases like —
Did it rain at your house?
We had a 7 inch rain here —
which means the drops
were seven inches apart.
We've had hotter summers.
Several years ago, it was over 108
for days, temperatures hitting 118 degrees,
119 degrees. We call these the dog days
and stay indoors, drink gallons of water
mixed with electrolytes.
Tap water tastes bad, brackish.
Austin water used to be my favorite drink.
Barton Srings, which has been 67 degrees
for thousands of years – a phenomenon derived
from the temperature in underground
limestone passages where water flows into
the springs — is up five degrees, nearly 10%
warmer than normal.
Sometimes, in December the pool
temperature will drop —
if we’ve had a deluge of freezing rain,
for instance, cold coming from above
mixing with warmer water flowing
out of the earth —
but what does it take to heat
an aquifer five degrees?
use one up?
©Susan Bright, 2006
Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.
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