Thursday, November 20, 2014

Randall Jarrell: "Well Water"

What a girl called “the dailiness of life”
(Adding an errand to your errand. Saying,
“Since you're up . . .” Making you a means to
A means to a means to) is well water
Pumped from an old well at the bottom of the world.
The pump you pump the water from is rusty
And hard to move and absurd, a squirrel-wheel
A sick squirrel turns slowly, through the sunny
Inexorable hours. And yet sometimes
The wheel turns of its own weight, the rusty
Pump pumps over your sweating face the clear
Water, cold, so cold! you cup your hands
And gulp from them the dailiness of life.

"Well Water" by Randall Jarrell, from The Complete Poems. © Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981.

Art credit: "Man standing under waterfall, arms outstretched," photograph by Sami Sarkis/Getty Images.

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