Conundrum Press

“Divining” by Eleanor Swanson

March 5th, 2014  |  Published in Blog

by Eleanor Swanson, from Memory’s Rooms

Day after day, we drive from the city
to our cabin in the mountains.
Long before we follow the curving
road to the top of the hill,
we see the plume of granite dust
rising high in the air, telling us
the drillers haven’t yet hit water.

When they’ve drilled a thousand feet,
we have a costly shaft through stone,
a well that doesn’t yield a drop of water.
We call on a diviner then, who walks
our land with a willow rod until
it trembles over a spot on a rocky slope.

We drill again and find a small spring.
Finding water means we can sell
a house we don’t want to part with,
but can’t afford to keep.

We sell and we go on
to the next fate we seek
or that seeks us–
the next divination.

Perhaps we found each other
the way the willow finds water,
each bending in just the right
direction, divining the fact
that we would cleave to one
another in the days and years
to come, enduring the dry well,
celebrating the small spring
and bearing what we’ve borne,
the way the earth drinks in
our suffering and holds us,

as we lie together in the cool grass
listening, divining.

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