Poems from Carrying Water

Here is the title poem from this chapbook, and the poem that follows it. To order, contact me at wmwalker@earthlink.net

Carrying Water

Pure & simple, this is your chance
to rub elbows with your daily miracle,
which waits for you at the well a hundred paces
past the outhouse and down the dune.
Priming the pump, an act so full
of symbol and abundant reward,
brings forth a gush
of the substance you can’t live without:
God’s love–it might as well be
God’s love you funnel
into your plastic jugs,
which you fill to overflowing,
then cap off to tote them
step by step, up
the steep, unsteady path
of crumbling dune.

Launching It Again

We joke about it as we lift:
the boat feels heavier now,
though it’s the same
small hull of fiberglass, sea-blue,
topped with a tiny gull-gray deck.
It’s the same cockleshell of a craft
we almost swamped off Wellfleet,
the same light skiff we sailed home
through a thicket of fog
on a phosphorus wake.
This is the damp shallop
we drove through the waves
under the sway of an oversized spinnaker
with a power great as love.
In this unsteady sloop
I’ve bucked through seas
with lovers, family, and friends–
layered with the light haze
of twenty years of memory.
Out of the water,
this still hull strains our backs
as if we’re lifting
the weight of a leaded keel.
But when we set it in the waves
that are quick with sunlight, winking
with the glint of schooling minnows,
it bobs and weaves and rides the sea–
feather-light, confident–
fresh as a new believer,
baptized and born again.


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