A Water Jar

by Stephen Petroff

Whenever he went out in the woods to work,
When he walked out into the fields,
He took a jar of water with him.
Thirtyseven years have passed since my
Grandfather went to the Land of the Dead.
Today, I found a broken mayonnaise jar
Wedged in the branches of a spruce tree
That once stood alone near a hackmatack
Grove on the edge of a garden field.
I found his jar in pieces:        Winter froze the water,
                                               Ice cracked the glass.
If the water had not leaked away, so long ago,
I could have raised the jar to my mouth,
And pressed my own lips to the imprint of his lips.
I would have tried to drink the water that he left.
If I could have done that, I could solve the thirst
That I feel for his voice, and the words he used;
I could solve the hunger that burns me, hunger for all
That I’ve forgotten about him, hunger for all
That I’ve lost in the World.