The Well Maiden's Return

A waterfall, heart of the forest,

Spills into a large pool;

A well so deep, there’s no bottom.

Rumor persists about this place

From time immemorial, reeking

Of Violence and Death, but also …

A Way of Life people once knew,

Evoked from their ancestral DNA

Or, perhaps, lives once lived.

Despite warnings, I returned;

For though a child, I knew

Something I couldn’t yet voice.

And finally, when I was fully grown,

Old Woman revealed herself to me

As Great Blue Heron.

She mentioned a distant past:

Humans and the land were one,

A relationship so deep, so timeless.

Well Maidens watered the roots —

Roots symbolized by sacred union

Of Kings married to Sovereignty.

Until one day, when She came forth,

One took Her by such startling force

And severed connection.

She howled and went within Herself;

Thus … much Violence begot Death,

Turning everything to desert.

The world is now green again,

But devoid of kinship and respect,

Blood falling from bisected roots.

My reflection shows in the well,

And I hear the wind whisper:

“Rise, Well Maiden, rise strong …

For some people are replanting,

And those deep, precious roots —

Well, they need some watering.”

Model: F.K. Garland

Location: Devil’s Hopyard