The Reckoning

 

the otherworld is watching.

                     Charles de Lint

 reckoning3

In the house of desert stone

the sun first shines on a wash bowl

and pitcher half-filled with water.

The other half sinks into the skin

of a woman who arose

with lamplight and the need to write.

 

Having washed off the sweat of old dreams

and some tears, she listens to the wind.

Outside, the soft hum of womanly song

hangs over the saguaro

like wool on a spindle — waiting to be spun

into her own grief or joy. A way of living

 

she wants to leave her daughters

before she journeys thin and transparent

into the field. Her ancestors there

throat- singing at the edge of a trail

once traveled by wagons. Now by coyotes

who breathe in dust and taste the salt

of unseen hands. Their kinswoman

within reach. A day’s length in coming.

2 comments

  1. Wendy,

    That cleansing water “sinks into the skin

    of a woman who arose

    with lamplight and the need to write”

    …What a lovely shimmering vision.

    Every line contributes to the tone and imagery.

    “Having washed off the sweat of old dreams

    and some tears, she listens to the wind.”

    Yes! super tone setter.

    And all of it…’the throat singing at the edge of the trail’

    and then to mention the coyote… I don’t just see it, I feel it…

    “the salt

    of unseen hands”

    “A day’s length in coming”

    Impossible to stifle a shiver with anticipation when I read this.

    So fine!

    Sarah

    Like

  2. Hi Sarah

    You always brighten my day and boost my confidence in writing with your wonderful reviews of my poetry! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness and regular reading of my works! It means a great deal to me. So glad you enjoyed this piece, as it has been revised several times since its original draft in 2014.

    Again, thank you!
    Wendy

    Like

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