The Analyst's Lament

How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood
When deep introspection presents them to view!
How joyous the paths in the deep-tangled wild wood
Of symbols, repressions my infancy knew!
The orchard, the meadow, the wide-spreading pond
(A substitute earth-mother of whom I was fond),
The bridge where I stood and the rock that I threw
(At the waterfall father, and the sibling all new).
The symbols are clear, the meanings all jell
Except for a bucket that hung in the well.
The well-water bubbled (for boyhood purity)
To wash off the dirt on my face (insecurity),,
And the dream of the river, the mill wheel awhiri,
fold me I knew Pa had wanted a girl.
The patterned rejection was easy to tell
But what was that bucket that hung in the well?
The day I was whipped, dramatic, traumatic,
Is why all my symptoms are psychosomatic —
Yes, marked by resistance and written in dream,
The things of my childhood are more than they seem
. . . Except for that one thing, that last citadel,
That slippery bucket that hung in the well.
Now far removed from the loved habitation
I see my regressions and projected hell
When fancy reverts to my father’s frustration
And brings on the symptoms I know oh so well.
But what is that bucket, that old oaken bucket,
That iron-bound bucket, that moss-covered bucket
That hung there, that hung there, that hung in the well?