Art Bar 

My maternal grandparents got their drinking water from a well in the yard, and my disabled uncle carried it sloshing to the house, one bucket of hard red water early every morning. I couldn't resist sharing this lovely little poem by Minnesota poet Sharon Chmielarz.

New Water

All those years — almost a hundred —

the farm had hard water.

Hard orange. Buckets lined in orange.

Sink and tub and toilet, too,

once they got running water.

And now, in less than a lifetime,

just by changing the well's location,

in the same yard, mind you,

the water's soft, clear, delicious to drink.

All those years to shake your head over.

Look how sweet life has become;

you can see it in the couple who live here, their calmness as they sit at their table, the beauty as they offer you new water to drink.


Reprinted by permission of Sharon Chmielarz, whose most recent collection of poems is The Rhubarb King, Loonfeather Press, 2006. Copyright 2006 by Sharon Chmielarz. This weekly column is supported by the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Send comments to [email protected]

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]m.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation