My classmate, Mary Lou Meyers, (re)sent me her poem after reading my post the other day on drinking water. Here it is below. Many thanks to Mary Lou for the quick follow up.
Drink Water Like the Dear Animals Do! by Mary Lou Meyers
With one catchy phrase, mother reduced our camping
inventory of easily soured milk or heavy cans of juice.
And we did, foot sore and breathing fire, on all fours,
quenched our thirst in springs which erupted
like mini geysers straight into our mouths,
natural water fountains without chlorine. Wind sighing,
soft mossy sponge growing under the fragrant pines,
brilliant blossoming of jewel weed where water
rippled forth filling the ingrained granite basin.
It’s what our long-haired enchanted guest, “Nature Boy,”
desired, fresh from the Appalachian Trail even more
than our welcoming fire, subject to dry mouth too long.
With the first swig of perfection, like priming the pump,
stories came tumbling out of his mouth with the spray.
My parents even in their eighties made the trek to
High Point Forest to fill their jugs with “Spring Water,”
as though to drink and be whole again beyond confusion.*
Funny how an element so light and airy could inspire
the rapturous refrain of the “Happy Wanderer,”
canteen filled with the effervescent brew,
now so scary, weighing heavily on our consciousness.
Water stagnant, abrasive with chemicals, dead matter,
we can no longer trust, depleting our minds and hearts.
How can we salvage what really matters, the pulsating flow
of mineral rich water from the bowels of the earth?
Even the deepest wells suspect of nitrates from farms nearby,
only through Reverse Osmosis can we purify the element
once deified, given to us so freely like the “dear animals.”
*Robert Frost (“Directive”)