Saturday, July 29, 2006


In the old wash house there was
begrimed glass with red crossbarsand spiderwebs
Where we could trace our initials and drawlittle hanged men
Pieces of creamy soap shaped like boneslay on the edges
Under the floor boards was a dark powdery space
and we lay with our eyes to the cracks
expecting snakes
(I lost a red pencil down there once)
On the back of the door we marked our slow
growth with little cotton bags of blue
(we dabbed it on for Indians and ants)
The tall brass tap had to be turned three times
before the water ran into the cool deep
cement tub
We hung over the edge hurting our ribs and
watching it flow down the dark hole
It gushed out a battered spout near
geraniums with purple and green ringed leaves
and dried umbrella frames that were seeds
or something.

That was a long time ago
We were different people then
But that was how it was

Nelma Ward ©


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