HJ came, one day,
to the village of Tolono
Walked out west
to stake his claim
plough and ply, plant and harvest
feed his family and others

First he built a lean to
just next to a tiny stream
every day, necessity
close at hand

Winter came
the family huddled
somehow they survived
Cold days, frozen soil,
HJ and son would journey
horses and sled
to a local sawmill
hauling back the cut boards
from which the home was built

Still, the stream supplied

Mondays found great grandma
Christina Mueller ne
with buckets in her hands
water from the stream a carryin’
to do the weekly wash

Tuesday was washing day
carrying was too hard
to wash that self same day

A train carload one day
unloaded in Tolono
“Hogsheads’ the containers called
large wooden kegs
some hundreds of gallons holding
HJ bought one, brought it home
buried it by the house

First he filled it
from the stream
and then roof water filled
HJ ran a pipe
from granma’s kitchen sink
down into that big ole barrel

Picture granma’s arm a pumpin’
water into her sink
tears running down her face
so happy
no more carrying water
from the nearby stream

A windmill went up
and a pipe went down
deep in the prairie soil
down and down and down
into the hiding water

No more dipping buckets
into the hand dug well
the cows could grow in number
HJ could use that energy
to feed more cows, more sows
the farm could grow in output

Jump forward a hundred years
cities now abound
deep wells into aquifers
big pipes delivering water
connecting cities even

That pure, sparkling water
now pipes past our farm home
a little pipe, ties us in,
right in to the kitchen
Picture a woman
at the sink
holding a clear glassful
tears running down her face
as she rejoices
no more scrubbing stains
no more ruined clothes
whites are white, not iron yellowed
another happy woman!

We human beings
mostly water we
stay close to water daily
yet appreciate it only little
until it’s gone
or ruined somehow
poisoned, against our drinking

Two steps back
start thinking
about wise using
tuning in
to save ourselves
a make a way for others
to treat our world more kindly
to leave it ever better

Maybe a hundred years from now
some lady will be standing
at her kitchen sink
tears streaming
in thankfulness, thinking
about how precious, is the water
we preserved, kept pure
for her, and all her family

Selah, Lin 6/10