The Deep Well

A poem from John 4: 1-41

I am an outcast among a people of outcasts.
He should never have talked to me.

I waited until noon, too hot but I am accustomed
To pain. Anything to avoid women’s glares.
Burning loneliness the price to pay.

In kindness he asked me for water.
I shouldn’t have tried to goad him away.

But this habit has become me.  This my only skill.
I chase men away, chase them to death.
I asked this Jesus my honest questions.

How could he possibly claim to be greater
Than our father Jacob who built this well?
Greater than this deep history that
I, a sinning Samaritan, am not fit to partake?

He spoke of a spring for everyone.
Everyone never includes me. Dryness
Killed me. Thirst quenched me.

I asked. Sir, water. Knew it was too
Good for me when he demanded
Exactly what I could never do.

“Call your husband.” My walls closed tighter
than ever. I never should have let them down.

He already knew. Common knowledge, maybe.
Uncommon to continue to talk to me. Stranger still,
He seemed to know how dryness drew life from me.

How my water jars had holes. One
Through five. Husbands. Instead, used me.

How still I try to satisfy. He lives with me,
I’m not his wife. He said the Father
Is seeking me.

Of course, I knew hope would eventually arrive.
“I who speak to you am he.”

He never should have talked to me.
His words defined my longings.
His gaze poured abundant life.

I ran to tell my people.
Can this be the Christ?
He told me all I ever did.
And, I think, he made me
Well.

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