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Willowspout

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Because someone thirsty enough
to trust Old Testament wisdom
followed the deepening greens

and found a spring, silver
in the shadow of blue ridges,
I can kneel beneath

this spill of willow
limbs a century later
and drink water

risen from roots
to enter the evening
through a spout, the way

Cherokee stories say the first
people were born,
washing into the world

of such trees whose bark,
like the water I cup
to my parched mouth,

tastes leafy and sweet
and has the power,
the old ones say, to heal.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

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Willowspout

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