Tess Gallagher
Sruthlinn Spring

Sent as children to gather watercress
on the lake side of the abbey
where water sprang from ground, its
ice darkened charge of minerals
with cleansing bite of watercress
the water had riffled through
on its way from darkness into light.

A handful of oats thrown into a well
at North Barroe reappeared
two miles away at Sruthlinn -- proof
of secret journeying. I drank its water
before it reached the abbey, pulled
150 feet up from Eileen Frazier's well
in 1968, the bright gong of it
in the mouth. Yvonne and I made tea
with it, talking poetry
near Ballindoon graveyard
in Tommy Flynn's caravan.

The spring so rainless we think:
"summer of '69" to savor the rarity -- spring
of unstoppable sunshine, a stretch
of goldfinch mornings.
I walk past names of two I treasure
on a quiet mission of again finding
watercress, brushed by the cool
underground of presence, and
as mind will -- going in one place,
coming out another.