The Water Castle

The sultan’s servants’
descendants
      assembled
shacks among his ruin.
Their thrills of freedom
long ago exploded
         and settled –
fragmented, unintelligible.
Father’s story is a memory’s
memory, a stone’s throw
from a thrown
       stone, and so
through generations blended
illiterately into legend.
The cricket and frog cacophony
distanced, and we listened
toward the fire’s
         crackling center.
Once, he says, there was water here,
where a worshipped man’s women
swam and sunned…
That night was the shadow
of his son’s son’s son,
unseen
    but felt
and all around,
like the next day
when, to dig the well,
we broke ground, the bricks
we thought fictional
waiting beneath
not even inches.