Jared Carter Poetry

[Men At Work]

Mississinewa Reservoir at Winter Pool

A reservoir's not like a lake;
it depends on how much water's
coming in.  When it goes down,
in the fall, you can see where

the town used to be—brick
foundations, chunks of concrete,
things still not worn away.
Sunday afternoons in October

the people who lived there once
come back, drive their cars
down to where the road breaks off.
They walk out toward the river.

Nothing remains.  The walls of the houses
are gone, the school, the church.
There are no flowers, no trees;
even the cemetery has been moved.

And yet they have come home again,
nothing can harm them now.
They walk to and fro, stopping
to speak, nodding, as though

having risen from a deep sleep
and come at last to a place
no longer having anything in it
except themselves.  And as though always.
from After the Rain [credits]
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