As I walk to the well, empty bucket in hand,
My mind drifts to what my young self had planned.
Did that large eyed, glowing skinned girl ever guess
At the turmoil since taken my life at arrest?
When womanhood blossomed upon me like spring,
I found what I felt was true love, spread my wings,
Took flight, soared high, then came crashing down –
He put me away, loved me not as his own.
Scarred – not defeated – I dared risk again,
But mankind seeks vengeance for kith and for kin;
When war called my second husband – I still know not why –
Death snatched at his soul with a brief arrow flight.
What can I say since then? Now dust whips my face
As a wind rustles over the gritty roadway. I place
My foot on a stone, it twists and I fall,
Scraped – what of that? My heart’s had them all.
The well is in sight now. The edge seems a seat
To a man, Jewish, a traveler, in want of a drink.
He asks – turns and speaks – to me! Is he so near death
That betraying his custom’s as normal as breath?
I draw him some water, then ask, “You know
That I’m a Samaritan?” He sips from the bowl.
“If you knew,” he replies, “Of God’s gift, who I am,
“You’d ask me water to drink for life, and I can.”
“Can? You’ve nothing to draw with,” I insist.
But he says, “Drink my water, and you’ll never thirst.”
I consider women who come here each day as one.
“Please do.” Never more must I walk here alone.
He considers me a moment, then asks for a name,
For my husband’s, my household’s. “I’m not married,” I say.
He nods and assures he knows I speak the truth:
“You’ve married five times, and now live ‘neath an unwed man’s roof.”
I straighten. No, I can’t say I’ve met him before,
Nor seen him, nor can I pretend to ignore
His robe’s dangling tassels. “Sir, I perceive
“That you are a prophet.” That much I can believe.
An impulse to keep hidden my secrets is felt
So I mention – on this mountain our forefathers knelt.
Yet the Jews claim Jerusalem God’s holy place,
And consider us to be a most unholy race.
The tone of his voice holds no spite; no disgust
Is felt for the woman who’s led her life thus.
“The hour will come when neither mountain nor town
“Will be needed;” then he adds, “Though the Jews have God now.”
“Nevertheless, in an hour, at present, the Father
“Will have worshippers not only in this, but rather,
“Those who love Him will worship in spirit and truth.”
I question his meaning. But I know of God, and state proof.
“We wait for Messiah,” I say, chin held high,
“He will tell us all things, and be called God-is-nigh.”
His eyes brim with joy of good tidings to bring
When he says, “I who speak to you am he.”