The Emperor vines were a hundred years old
when I was a teen learning to irrigate
granddad’s thirsty vineyard, whole pump
down five furrows—hope and wait.
You had to fill the deep sand up
before it carried water down the vine row.
In the old days, Coffelts spread the pump out,
then went fishing in the pines for two weeks.
Much has changed the way we think
about water—wells deeper, trees on drip.
The earth sinks with the weight of farming
until nothing’s left to keep it up.