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.
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.
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.