Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Brilliantly Hydrated

Photo courtesy Liz West

My parents didn’t live long enough to be confronted with the notion of paying for a bottle of water. They’d be horrified. Pay for water? Who ever heard of such a thing? Well . . . Here’s a good poem by Kim Dower, who lives in Los Angeles, about what we go through to quench our thirst today. [Introduction by Ted Kooser.]

Bottled Water

I go to the corner liquor store
for a bottle of water, middle
of a hectic day, must get out
of the office, stop making decisions,
quit obsessing does my blue skirt clash
with my hot pink flats; should I get
my mother a caregiver or just put her
in a home, and I pull open the glass
refrigerator door, am confronted
by brands—Arrowhead, Glitter Geyser,
Deer Park, spring, summer, winter water,
and clearly the bosses of bottled water:
Real Water and Smart Water—how different
will they taste? If I drink Smart Water
will I raise my IQ but be less authentic?
If I choose Real Water will I no longer
deny the truth, but will I attract confused,
needy people who’ll take advantage
of my realness by dumping their problems
on me, and will I be too stupid to help them
sort through their murky dilemmas?
I take no chances, buy them both,
sparkling smart, purified real, drain both bottles,
look around to see is anyone watching?
I’m now brilliantly hydrated.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2012 by Kim Dower, whose most recent book of poems is Slice of Moon, Red Hen Press, 2013. Poem reprinted from Barrow Street, Winter 2012/13, by permission of Kim Dower and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

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2 comments:

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Kathy - great poem. It is hard even for me at times to think about purchasing water. Some things just start being sold and we just accept the changes without giving it much thought. Yet water is such a vital part of our life that maybe it makes us more aware to appreciate this valuable resource.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Debbie--I try to avoid buying water, but sometimes it's worth every penny if I'm out and about with nothing to drink and I'm feeling really thirsty. Water is precious, and worth buying under the right circumstances!