Keith Taylor

Three Springs

Up where forests have pushed
back through fences, belief
comes more easily, comes
sometimes, for us, despite
all our learning, even
as it comes for that man
we both love. Remember
the day he took us
away from the lake,
from the roads, far
into a valley, fern-covered
and filled with the high calls
of warblers ready to mate.
Remember and this might help
you when, shaking,
you stand outlined before
our window, drawing from its blank
chill what comfort you can
against the fear mounting at night.
He showed us the stream
overgrown in watercress,
kept fresh, he assured us,
even in the heart
of the harshest winter
by the three springs he led
us to. Water rising,
unbidden, always rising,
spreading in an arc of green.
Remember and this might help
you as it helps that man,
our friend, who knows more
than I know of fear’s
hard presence. Remember this:
we pushed our hands into them,
down through water and sand
until we could bury our shoulders
in that pulse of cold water.

Recording of Three Springs by Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor is originally from Western Canada, but has lived for the past 45 years in Michigan. He has authored or edited 18 books and chapbooks. His most recent are Let Them Be Left (Alice Greene & Co., 2021), and Ecstatic Destinations (Alice Greene & Co., 2018). His last full-length collection, The Bird-while (Wayne State University Press, 2017), won the Bronze medal for the Foreword/Indies Poetry Book of the Year. His poems, stories, reviews, essays and translations have appeared widely in North America and in Europe. More than three years ago, he retired from the University of Michigan, where he taught Creative Writing for 20 years. Taylor has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. He has been Writer/Artist In Residence at Isle Royale National Park (twice), the Detroit YMCA, The International Writers’ and Translators’ Centre of Rhodes, Greece, the University of Michigan Biological Station, and Greenhills School.

Artwork by Christopher Schmidt

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