The Watertank Revisited

by Delores Gauntlett

Without the weight of what then seemed important,
I return to the house under the hill
with its old unfinished watertank, limned now

with shrubs, its bank slippery as papa's dream,
and scattered with tins whose razor tongues
reflect the sun's.

In its grave, the ants haul their loot.
Bees, wasps and butterflies are feeding, crawling.

It was my father's job to lift the line
in the wind before the clothes swiped the dirt,
to split the wood and start the new foundation

for the watertank: the watertank which now
reposes in the scheme of things
exactly as it pleases, half

-sunk in the soil like a stubborn stare_
is the reason I expected more than his best,
gone to weed, too, now; gathering moss.

I ask myself: what does it matter
that piped water was forestalled?
Besides; what's the past but a rainless day

with dry bush rustling in the hill,
and a no-longer-flawed perfection
awaiting another dream to beam from a window,

my father's, mine;
and flow like rain guttering in song from a roof
to a tar-glazed water drum planked on flat stones_

overflowing to a river no one owns?

The Watertank Revisited by Delores Gauntlett

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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