Cool Springs Rise

For my mother.


Cool springs rise to The Craft’s steep slope

filtering to a twisted pipe.

On warm days lambs will sip in hope

before it drains beneath the yarrow.


Floods benignly feed

our silty depths; a pool within the fold.

Rain in plenty, now.

In seventy-six this well was dry and rusty.


That year, old George would recollect

the well once pumped a seamless flow

for healthy stock and wartime folk;

village life in unity.


I made the dimpled well my den,

hid from Germans and most gentlemen.

In bolder times, I’d spy from naive Front,

amidst our lofty blue delphiniums


as George would guard

and tend the scented borders.

Not long before his death,

his daughter brought him to our yard.


Tall man sat, weak,

leaned toward his walking stick,

smiled and spoke of cherry,

hops and bonfires;


of cider makers’ hands.

Sometimes, in smoke borne light

he’d hear them sing

a tune from home ~ in Italy.


Our well is full with bracing rain,

soaks the borders once again.

The tank’s old tin is freshly painted green

and by a tenor’s grandson.