The Taste of Water

Carol Nolde

Carol Nolde

The Taste of Water 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.

We poured water into the pump
worked the creaking handle
up and down, up and down
until pressure built,
forced the arm to press hard
as water rose, then gushed
a fountain from the spout.
Carefully we carried the bucket,
rivulets tracing its sides,
set it in the wooden dry sink.
The dipper we hooked over its edge
drifted to the bottom.
Unlike a chilled glass, the tin rim
imparted its own flavor,
mingled with minerals.
Grandmother relished its taste.
"Nothing like our water."
A child, I thought," Isn't water, water?
Isn't it all the same?"
But no.
Maybe it was the feel of the dipper against the lips,
maybe the sight of the stream that rushed from the spout,
a pure outpouring from the heart of earth
that was ours.

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