Into the Well
He fell in that well, the deep dark one
we all know so well, he thought he saw
a familiar face down there, leaned forward
too far and fell, a familiar, perhaps friendly
face he needed to see and saw and fell
into the well; the folks going by didn’t
know what to do, not who to call at all
one said the sheriff, another firemen
and others said no laws were broken and
of course, no fires were burning, another
mentioned the splash they heard and
thought a lifeguard would be best, but
the town around is landlocked you know,
the only lifeguard works at the town pool,
which opened today and can’t be called away,
so how about family and friends, but no one
knew him or where he fit before he fell
and it was getting late and since his fate
was sealed when he fell in the well they
went on, too busy to be bother beyond
the scene they saw and suggestions they
made; he fell in the well, alone finally
with the only friendly face he ever found.
After all that, we didn’t look back
We were finished, done with it,
Like it was finished, done with us.
We may have walked slowly,
Almost dragging our feet, but we
didn’t look back and kept going.
It was a small victory at that,
We didn’t need to discuss it –
Not looking back was all we had,
A small gesture, a conscious effort
That cost us a great deal, but we
Had won a round for this once.
We didn’t look back, as if it didn’t,
Didn’t matter, something so small we
Could turn our backs on with ease;
After all that was said, was done,
After all the planning and uncertainty,
After all that, we didn’t look back.
After all that, we didn’t look back,
Walked slowly and pretended
For once as if it didn’t matter.
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Eskimo Pie, Pacific Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Muddy River Poetry Review.