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.