Alongside the creek where the water bubbled up
Through a sandy swirl of a drainage ditch
On the low side of the underground water pipeline
Where it crosses under buzzing power lines overhead
On the hottest days of our Jersey season of steam
We always found water flowing, always enough
To soak our summer sneakers and run through a while
With squishing feet through the paths we trod.
We filled our plastic Army canteens
with fresh sparkling water In that hidden rut
of the overgrown field when we played war
and flopped dead in tall grasses.
We doused our temples and wrists with the cool water
We were sure flowed from secret streams
In Iceland to our dead-end field in northern Jersey.
No fish ever swirled in our little creek.
Maybe a turtle or frog showed up
but I don’t remember that detail any more.
The creek was still bubbling the purest water
when I moved away in 1964
but the last time I stopped by the open field of my youth,
the place where the spring had sprung was dry as could be
in the passing years the grown-ups came along
and fixed the pipeline leak.
-- Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
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A Belleville poem
See also Greetings From Belleville, New Jersey