I used to wonder how
two springs could issue from the hill
a yard apart. Why not dig deeper
and unite their flow?
And later realized they
surfaced close from opposite
directions. The southern
sweeter, though the northern’s steady
effluence came cold, even in the dry
months when its neighbor
slacked and almost stood, with
algae thickening the edges.
In the church nearby I’ve heard
sermons on the trinity describe
their separate currents merging to
one branch. The sweet uneven
head rose from the hillside leaning toward
Dark Corner, while the constant
icy thread emerged
from the farm country. In summer
they condemned the slow one and
when I came down to drink before
or after preaching its partner sure
enough ran clear, with ebullition
dimpling the surface above the pores,
and purifying lizards gripped
the sandy floor. But after swilling
there I’d dip the gourd
into the slightly silty left
embellished now with leaves and spiders
and aquatic mosses for a richer sip.
That ungodly taste I’d carry home.