My father’s pump

pump

The path from porch to well was worn by years

of steady use, although the house could boast

of running water long ago.  The neck

and handle—rough with age–stood hard against

the gentle garden colors just beyond.

…………………………………………..

She watched him haul the buckets, one a side

to keep his balance, and shook her head.  “The need

to carry pails from outdoors in has passed.”

………………………………..

He stopped, a foot atop the lower step,

and smiled at her.  “I suppose that’s true,” he said.

He reached the upper step and sat beside

her, put the pails aside, and held her hand

in his.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Her fingers weaved with his and held.

“It was your father’s pump,” she said.  “I know.”

And then: “Some needs long met can be let go.”

…………………………………………….

“It’s still my father’s pump,” he said.  “That’s why

I carry water even now.  Some needs

long met—those freely, fully met–become

a thing apart, perhaps become a love.”

……………………………………..

She looked at him anew and said, “It’s not

unlike the two of us.”

…………………………………“The water’s cool

and sweet when drawn so deep,” was all he said.

Click here to hear the poem read aloud.

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