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Thursday, July 24, 2003 02:20 pm

Bards of the Sangamo 7-24-03

The Lost Prairie--Lake II

Covering the land of my youth I hear the laughing lake
filling behind a massive concrete dam. Its fingers flood
little hollows, cover brown cattails and purple violets. Sangamo
history is hidden beneath the mirrored surface where names are
etched on a gray stone bridge humped over the county road once an
Indian path. Springs gush forth chilled water deep in the lake's
dark depths. Waves lap against aged tombstones and forgotten
babies' graves in a moss-covered burial ground. Black stumps of
toppled oak trees ooze musty smell; blackberry vines and fragrant
wild roses wither and die beneath the green water. A century-old
red brick abode, one-room schoolhouse, and empty barns are but
shadows on the lake's floor. People will soon forget this
land. In the dark of the moon ghosts skim the misty lake.
Wild mallards overnight here.

--Helen E. Rilling

Local poets were writing about contemporary events in the Sangamo Journal as early as the 1830s. People's Poetry wants you to share your thoughts on what's happening in Springfield today--in poetic form. Poems on any subject will be considered, but ones that deal with issues of local interest are encouraged. Send yours to poetry editor Lee Gurga, P.O. Box 662, Lincoln, IL 62656, or to gurga@ccaonline.com with "Bards of the Sangamo" in the subject line. (Please limit your submissions to poems of 14 lines or less.)

Also from Lee Gurga

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