for Seamus Heaney
Vermont water tastes like sherry wine.
We’ve had our soft days
hems of rain sashaying
across the roof…muffled paradiddle . . .
the big pine’s brush lifted
flung down scattered dots
and the mist seen,
the air alive, but unheard.
Rain beads on the cattle bar,
not here, but in Wicklow
where you pointed out the droplets
poised and falling, beautiful.
Water is your sign. What pours
forth from jug and drain, voluble
life-giver, free to do as it pleases
until it pleases. Here water goes
underground to be dowsed by those
whose forked sticks spring downwards.
Springs chill lake swimmers:
we walk on rivers every day
you can feel the six or eight gallons
the well driller Manosh-By-Gosh
will bring to the surface, last week’s
rain from every faucet in the house.
William Corbett (1942–2018) was an American poet, essayist, editor, and publisher. He served as a contributing editor of AGNI for many years.