The Cost of Water

Written by: Andrew Gallagher

Flight of stillness;
idle,
ditch-wise.

Ladders point up
but they say the ground is greater;
sunlight knitting to their brown feet green socks.
They crestfall and
buckle at the knee.

Hear guts clap thunder off somewhere else
but no storm in sight to maitre d' this mesa;

got to rot the mud lest 
an urge to ripen ripens.

But hear now
the locusts flood this rut,
hunt for want,
         impelled to eat each lunch of your decay.

         Earth uncorks her pores.
you drift upon the grass, lift the damp from the sod
like a pillow of cloud sopping Earth's steam-
       
         to be made the steward of this land;
lightning
flash! ladders
shatter!
 
Pay in full the cost of water,
less labors not yet lost.