I remember drinking spring water here.
At the local park, brick house and water fountain built around it,
and from the small hills just outside of town,
clear, cold water flowing straight out of rocky cliff.
We’d drive there, my mom, my dad, my sister and me,
on the weekends,
on long summer afternoons with nothing to do,
to fill up rows of jugs and bottles,
ready to haul them home,
sweet, free water to keep us cool on hot days.
Better, different, than our tap water,
tasting of minerals, carrying memories of cool stones,
and the silent secrets of dark soil,
That water was alive.
But eventually the springs were closed.
ground water poisoned,
with chemicals, and toxic run-off,
no longer fit for consumption.
Until today, I’d almost forgotten,
how our old blue volvo clambered along the wooded ridges on the outskirts of town,
how we drove with the windows down, radio on,
listening to oldies, top 40, or jazz,
relaxed and happy.
And if I’ve already forgotten,
of water gurgling straight from the earth,
what will my own son know?
And so the amnesia of the great forgetting grows and grows,
swallowing up whole worlds
so that broken-ness becomes normal,
and the small things slip away
like so many puffs of smoke.
Thank you for listening,