Proustian Moment

Lorraine Jeffery

Lorraine Jeffery

Proustian Moment was selected for MSUL’s themed call for work about Water, in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum’s fall 2023 exhibition, Flint is Family in Three Acts, featuring the photography of Latoya Ruby Frazier.

Would you like water or something else?
Bottled, filtered, purified—
always something else! 
You can add flavoring. 
Why? Because water doesn't taste good?
In Virginia—a one-bedroom house, 
dog shooed out of a cramped kitchen.
Mixer, nut chopper, mismatched bowls
spilling from two overcrowded shelves.
Lunch on a small clean table.
With a soft southern drawl—
Ah hope water is okay.
We nod.
My husband asks about people who have been 
gone from Dante for many years.
I chew ham and cheese, reach for the water glass.
My eyes fly open and I stare at our hostess.
Even with no words—she knows.
It's well water, she says.
And I am transported home to Oregon's deep green, 
drinking well water from the garden hose that fills 
our cow's cool, moss-covered barrel.  
I had forgotten water 
that tasted like ambrosial
icy streams flowing in 
deep untouched caverns.         

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