#b#To view this poem’s original formatting, please see page 37 of the online PDF of this issue: http://www.princetoninfo.com/files/library/pdfs/97.pdf#/b#

Next to the stream,

iron bars cross the open

well shaft and shadow

thin and thinner down

its brick walls.

At the bottom,

sunlight has found

watercress, the color

of coiled moss.

From the woodland stream

that twists around rims

of hills, she pulls watercress.

It leaves a peppery tang

on her tongue; perhaps

its essence will rest in

her mouth to relish all day.

Who will pick the watercress

at the bottom of the well,

savor its flavor when the light

dims in an evening room

where an empty rocker moves

as if someone had just left,

and a fireplace embers

out the heat of before?

Shuttered windows drop

the dark and embers

shadow walls as still

as a feather in shale.

Shawled and capped,

(some would say

she was too young

for that), she seeks

God in oaks, rocks

and a pouring of water.

The rocking chair is still,

the embers have forgotten

their purpose, and the water-

cress nestles and nestles

beneath iron-crossed bars

that shadow thin and thinner

down the well wall’s brick.

Stillness tempts the writer

in her. Like a hermit crab,

she drags her borrowed

shell of words to the stream

and watches watercress

master the way the earth

moves, its tectonics.

Kane is the 2006 Bucks County poet laureate whose work has been published in The River Stirring, The Bucks County Writer, U.S. 1 Worksheets, Wordgathering, Schuykill Valley Journal, Hot Metal Press, the Delaware Valley Poets Anthology, The Meadowland Review, two Philadelphia Inglis House anthologies, and others. She lives in Yardley, PA, with her husband, Stephen Millner, an artist.

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