The springhouse is a refuge I rarely enter:
cool as a cave in summer, warm in winter.
The grates on the windows have rusted away,
& the outlet pipes have long since silted up.
The spring seeps in through breaks in the masonry,
& a thin whisper of water covers the floor.
Phoebes nest under the rafters every April;
salamanders leave their footprints in the mud.
The springhouse is the one building on the farm
that doesn’t line up with the others.
I see it every time I go out my front door,
but rarely give it a second glance.
It sits apart from everything we know.
I think of those who, for the sake of some
dangerous or unfashionable truth,
grow old in prison cells or hermitages,
no way to keep their feet up out of the mud,
no place to sit apart from the corrosive flow.