The Brucciano Poems
poems by Thomas Rain Crowe

"Getting Water at the Sacred Spring"

When the people of Brucciano
need water,
they go to the sacred spring.
In a large cool grotto
shaded by chestnuts and elms,
carpeted in ferns and moss,
and roofed with a Roman arch,
the water flows freely
from a giant stone.

“If you drink from the sacred spring,”
says Amelia,
“you will never grow old.”
At eighty-four,
she is proof of her boast.

After filling ten empty bottles
that were once a lesser liquid
that came from a Castelnuovo store,
we leave the fountain of youth,
taking time in a bottle home.

At the evening meal,
we toast with the cool clear water,
to “long life” and
“generations to come.”