Narrative of water                                                                                                                                                                                       Lee Sharkey

Narrative of water

Here we are in the narrative of water, in the wild and matted grasses, in the braid and upsweep 

Who knew her, really? She was the listener, alert as birds and blinking back her own desire 

The story, washing over felled limbs, bent again and combing the water for flecks 

One time only I saw her cry. Not for the child, plaything for the surgeon’s scalpel, stalked by a maddened mate; nor at the death of the husband who chalked notes of welcome on a small slate hung by the door  

In the narrative of water, under dust blue light, the postures of surrender, broken, angular, sodden, wavering, huddled, hemlock drunk, draped hanging over, spread wide for a tattered shroud, veins running dark 

But at the thought that we might censor a small, ugly word she cried out, You break the covenant! 

The syllable of water incessant, incorrupt 

To sit with her, to cup her cup, to watch her passion flutter to the page 

We stayed up till our lids dropped. She said, Your room is waiting for you. Tatterdemalion, I had a home there. The stroke struck true and she was off, moving with the water 


for Constance Hunting

first published in Puckerbrush Review
   [This electronic edition © Lee Sharkey + HA&L   |  {2009}]