Alan: We no longer haul our water from the shallow dug well down the hill from the house: too many dry autumns; too much work. The pitcher pump of our new drilled well squeaks and creaks and generally makes a fuss over its own importance. But we still use buckets to get the water to the house.
After You’d Gone
I went to get water.
The wind was southwest,
the snow slick underfoot,
a little melting,
the buckets splashed and the light
swam in the well tile.
I made three trips,
and in the end
I drew up silence.
Nancy: Two worlds, the hot, sweaty immediate life of music and flying bodies, and the nagging wonder, the constant question of a child, "Papa, what's out beyond there?” (the horizon) and the frustrating answer that, "It just goes on and on." (And after that??? "It just goes on and on.")
When the dance is over we face one another again,
and I want to say, “listen”
this is not the way it is –
listen – the sun is a variable star,
and a cold song plays in the black of space,
there is no silence anywhere
We face one another, panting,
this tune always catches its own tail
and brings us home again. Everyone laughs,
sweating, impatient for the music to begin again,
and it does. The music starts
and the couples turn, certain, whirling through space.
the stars were born – it makes me shiver –
they are dancing away from one another –
I must leave, I must watch the mountains melt
and run down to the frozen sea
Tomorrow, you say, tomorrow we will stand with you
as you press your ear against the black sky, tomorrow
we will listen for the cold star songs, but tonight –
I want to say “listen”,
I want to ask if anyone knows where we are going,
if the stars will ever turn and face one another again
as we do. You laugh, and I shiver, but I turn to the music
and take your hand, and pound my feet on the floor.
Over our heads, the stars fly farther