Winter 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 2002 |

The Well

It was late in the day and we sat there, on the crumbling edge, dropping small stones into the deepening blackness. Do you find wells sexual? she asked. A pair of twenty-eight parrots arced by, racing the sounds of their own calls. Crack, crack. I don't know, I replied. We'll have to head back soon. Let's stay just a little longer, she whispered. An evening in late summer when the sky is electric and pink and orange, is something of the soul. It pours whole languages into you that are never spoken, but are stored and residually inform all you do and think from that moment on. When I was a kid, she began, I believed that if you jumped into a well on one side of the world, you came out in a well on the other. My mother told me stories of wells in Wales and England that were spiritual and held special healing powers. Saint Winifred's was one, I remember that, though I can't remember the story behind it. Or maybe I can, and just don't want to tell it. I looked at her in the dyin

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John Kinsella
John Kinsella's recent books of poetry include Firebreaks (WW Norton, 2016), Jam Tree Gully (WW Norton, 2012) which won the Australian Prime Minister's Award for Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and Sack (Picador, UK, 2014). He is an Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University and Professor of Literature and Environment at Curtin University.

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