The Well

Today, enchantment came to me in the shape of a communal water fountain. 

They are not as common as they once were.

Once, they functioned as the centre of community.


Olive skinned girls deftly balancing large clay water gourds on their kerchief covered heads encountered dark eyed boys with rough, workman hands.

Old men resting one hand on their cane,  their other hand, rolling a cigarette, sat on the retaining wall looking on.

Within spitting distance, matronly mothers dressed in muted colours gossiped in small, tight circles, one eye on their blooming daughters.

The town mongrel, loved and hated, lay in the shade of the nearest tree waiting, panting.

I see them easily, in my minds eye. No need to close my eyes.  They come to me in the worn edges of the blue and white tiles along the edge of the catch-basin. They appear in the worn, green copper of the spigot. Even the moss covered flag stones cradle the well-worn curves of their steps.

A thick, woven chord of sisal anchors me to these apparitions. I can no more ignore the past than I can refute the present. We are one, and I too drink from the well.

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