In The Well

My father cinched the rope,
A noose around my waist,
And lowered me into
The darkness. I could taste

My fear. It tasted first
Of dark, then earth, then rot.
I swung and struck my head
And at that moment got

Another then: then blood,
Which spiked my mouth with iron.
Hand over hand, my father
Dropped me from then to then:

Then water. Then wet fur,
Which I hugged to my chest.
I shouted. Daddy hauled
The wet rope. I gagged, and pressed

My neighbor’s missing dog
Against me. I held its death
And rose up to my father.
Then light. Then hands. Then breath.

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In The Well