Forgotten Fountain
Water dripping year after year from the green mossed crevice in the east cliff through my absences and through winter through the shadows after midday as they deepened to nightfall the clear drops arriving through the stone with no color of their own as they appear one by one on the threshold of the world in its full color and each one pauses for a moment before starting on its way down to itself as it has been doing ever since the cliff rose from the seafloor and then the bees found it the badgers the foxes the birds until the day came with voices from the village to clear the slope singing as the tools rose and fell turning the stiff yellow soil to plant vineyards and peaches and I stood by the clear source once listening to their last singing together with the mattocks keeping time and I thought of Édouard and the village as it had been when he was young and his name was called with the others to the colors as they put it in the language of elsewhere and of what it felt like in those last days to be leaving for Verdun with no words in a moment with no color of its own W.S. Merwin