taking water for granted

March 2, 2019

some of my students were calling each other ghetto yesterday

a flow of words coming through the door

scrutinizing hair and clothing for signs of poverty

then we watched Lion , and they saw the ghettos of Calcutta

they asked why people washing clothes in the river

why that boy wore the same thing every day

and I told them how so many people don’t have running water

hundreds of people bathing, pooping, washing clothes, all in that same river

and my students’ flow of words slowed.


When I got home  the water was out

workers digging through the street up the block

water flowing down my street like a river

I cooked rice with bottled water

and woke up to  no shower and no place to poop

that meme says you value every drop of water

once you’ve had to carry it yourself

but for how long?

How do I hold this gratitude

for my hoarded emergency plastic water  bottles

and the bathroom at the coffee shop  up the street past the water main break?

How long will our water systems hold up?

When will they be  just broken aqueducts like the ones in Rome?

water cannot be hoarded as easily as money or power

it is living and wants to flow down or evaporate up

whether floodstage or drought

we can corral but not tame it

it runs us








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