I’m afraid of wells.
It’s the falling that might not stop.
It’s the confined narrow space where no one will find me if I fall in, no matter how loud I call for help.
It’s the darkness.
Thirty years later, I’m afraid of Grannie’s back porch well. Afraid I might lean over too far. Afraid I might drop the bucket. Afraid I won’t let the bucket down far enough to get some water.
I, mostly, eyed it. Crossing the porch, I skirted the edge of it and exhaled on the other side of it. I told myself, it’s covered up. I said, you won’t fall in. But the wood over top was warped, and the bricks seemed rickety.
We didn’t need the well except when the pipes froze or the pump broke or the electricity cut-off. I don’t know why somebody didn’t tear it down, topple the bricks down the hole. Make it disappear. But then I’m thinking, doesn’t seem as easy as filling in the hole I was digging to China.
Wells run dry. Deep wells, they too, can run dry. But water pooled at the bottom, same as always. She wasn’t dry, just no longer pertinent.
© Amy Persons Parkes 2012