Link to Burke's Bookstore
This book is no longer in print from U of Illinois but Burke's Books has some signed copies of the paper and hardback first editions
As in the old country, they dug them
wide enough to climb into.
But the man with pick and shovel,
who took the ground from under himself,
was not there, where I helped my mother
pull off the boards that saved from falling in
dogs, children, the nightroaming
drunks. We stared down
to the cast of light upon the trash
that grew a scurry of rats
where once the digger stood.
He must have lowered himself
foot, then knee, then waist.
Grass at his eyes, he went under
until the sky receded
to a circle of blue.
Heaven no more
than the span of thumb wrapped
to forefinger, a little O.
Then, the water seeping in.
How did he get out? I asked her.
My mother, imagining no more
than what we saw, tossed in
the day’s trash, and said, Who?
I don’t know, I said.
In Brookside, the wells went bad
house by house. Their stones were pulled down,
their bottoms filled. Except the one
old man Chervinsky kept, neat with flowers
around its sides. The roof of cedar shingles
held straight. The bucket was ready
for the pulley’s creak and swing.
He showed me how the well
stayed cool on blazing days.
He turned the wooden crank
and tipped the water toward me,
undrinkable mirror reflecting the sky
and my fingers dipping in.