PROVISIONING, MOAB, UTAH
Tradition, to stop here on the way
to the Green, provision
with sweet water from rock.
A faucet set in the canyon face
runs without ceasing, no handle
to turn it off.
We fill up every bottle,
bucket, jug, and water bag,
lug the precious gallons counting—
eleven days on the desert river,
seven of us, a gallon a day for each.
We handle the soft plastic bags
like babies, lay them
carefully side by side, watch
as dry air and sandstone
suck up moisture till we’re sure
no seal leaks, no pinhole drips—
this day and this day and this day
for each of us.
Though ten years later
when we stop again,
the stream’s a drip;
the aquifer dried up.
Robin Chapman’s most recent book is Abundance, winner of the Cider Press Review Editors’ Award. A new collection, The Eelgrass Meadow, is forthcoming from TebotBach. Her poems have appeared recently in Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. She is recipient of the 2010 Helen Howe Poetry Prize from Appalachia.