A Poem For Monday

by Alice Quinn

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“A Drink of Water” by Seamus Heaney:

She came every morning to draw water
Like an old bat staggering up the field:
The pump’s whooping cough, the bucket’s clatter
And slow diminuendo as it filled,
Announced her. I recall
Her grey apron, the pocked white enamel
Of the brimming bucket, and the treble
Creak of her voice like the pump’s handle.
Nights when a full moon lifted past her gable
It fell back through her window and would lie
Into the water set out on the table.
Where I have dipped to drink again, to be
Faithful to the admonishment on her cup,
Remember the Giver fading off the lip.

(From Selected Poems: 1966-1987 © 1987 by Seamus Heaney. Used by kind permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux)