A Young Girl Fetches Water
Bleached by a tyrant sun
she plucks the crescent handles of silver pails
from her back porch then barefoot whispers over grass, slipping
into the filigree of the demon wood
over pebbles and sticks that mark the path to the well's deep moon.
On top of a bareback horse
she circles the water, reins in her teeth
her arms sickle-shaped above her head.
She kneels and scoops the water
with cupped hands, blesses
herself with its glassine grace. She siphons
ribbons of it into buckets which she balances with string–
bean arms spilling stinging sheets
onto crusty brown feet.
Four o'clock roses awaken
to the flat slap of the screen door.
Liz Dolan's poetry manuscript, A Secret of Long Life, nominated for a Pushcart, has been published by Cave Moon Press. Her first poetry collection, They Abide, nominated for The McGovern Prize, Ashland University, was published by March Street. An eight-time Pushcart nominee and winner of Best of the Web, she was a finalist for Best of the Net 2014. She won The Nassau Prize for Nonfiction, 2011 and the same prize for fiction, 2015. She has received fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, The Atlantic Center for the Arts and Martha's Vineyard.