Cistern

No, it's simple, you mustn't worry.
She won't mind, you'll see when we get there,
it will be all right. She's never in a hurry.

It's the last working cistern anywhere
in the neighborhood, really the only one
I've ever seen. She's washed her hair

in rainwater and dried it in the sun
for fifty years now. Her hair's still brown
except for a silver streak. She keeps it done

in braids, but when I'm headed for town
sometimes I stop to see if she needs
anything, and I'll find her, settled down

in a patch of light coming through the trees
surrounding the house, washing her hair
with a galvanized bucket at her knees,

and a gourd dipper. It's pleasant there,
and sometimes I'll fetch another pail
and wash my hair, too, and she'll share

shampoo, and pour the rinse, and I'll flail
about till she hands me an extra towel.
We laugh a lot. Her skin is soft and pale

like the water, she says, all vowels
and no consonants. Once I stayed there
all afternoon - picking wildflowers,

waiting till the wind had dried our hair.
We looked in the cistern, too, and saw our faces.
I'll go call her now. I know she won't care.


First published in Cincinnati Poetry Review.

by Jared Carter

Comments (6)

I would love to share this poem in a small garden magazine some nurseries in Victoria, Australia give to customers free as an incentive to encourage them to come each month to browse amongst their plants and other 'wares' and perhaps to buy an item or two. Would Margie mind? It's called Australian Better Gardens and Home Ideas. To get a 'feel' for it, check out a website we have just set up a couple of weeks ago. www.australianbettergardensandhomeideas.com How can I contact her? Or can she please contact Andrea
Hey that's a great poem about a rose. Very nicely done, enjoy mine as well I gave yours a ten its worth it.
I looked for a rose poem and I liked yours the best amongst the many of them I've read. I must say that I used it in my rose shot that I posted in my flickr page and linked it back to you too. It's for personal use only, no worries =) He're a link to my page for you to see the work (with your poem in it) , if you wish too... http: //www.flickr.com/photos/tiarra_lee/4201393065/ thank you! !
Its is the first poem ive read on this site and I think it's a wonderful start! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Your poem is quite lovely and done with style. Good job.
See More