Cobwebs jammed the punched out holes
of the handlegrip.
It was a galvanized piece, except
where the faucet stem met the faucet body.
A crescent of rust proved
the spigot had not been used for years.

A quick twist and he broke the seal.
First nothing, then a low rumble, then fluid
the color of water and blood
formed a pool around the corner portico.

The bucket was still good, was dented
but no real damage.
Silt lay at the bottom collecting
the things only winter could leave behind.
Broken twigs and stems. The veins of
broken leaves. Four small stones and
a broken sparrow’s feather.
A dip and quick circles collected the grains
that clung to the outer rim.

He swung the bucket upwards. The droplets
scattered the light and for a moment
formed a small vision,
a brilliant screen between
himself and the sun.
Each tiny shield came alive despite
a cargo of dust and debris.

For months only leaden rain
had prepared the ground and
polished the seeds for birthing.
But now the water ran to white.
He bent his knees and held
the bucket outward.
A quick tilt and the filling had begun.