Proprietary Water

(No deposit, no return)

Who will the wells
from misfortune,
Mischief unnatural
protect?
For whom do toll
One need not ask
They till the years
Sow the fears
And reap the tears
In anger swell
At wasted toil
Births so still
With senseless sorrow
Plastic bottles filled
With heavy water
Bearing grief
Until until until
Those wells
Their guards
Release.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..