Take To Water

by Renée Hearrin

Wilted in the heat, the limp ray petals
of a Shasta daisy hang in defeat.
Underneath the brittle back yard,
its roots search as if soil were braille
to find a wet vein, or better — a trickle
like the one from a worn garden hose left
to weep on the cheek of a cone flower bed,
secretly quenching a cat.

Oh what a soak would do!

For the dusty sparrow who after a day
of foraging and feeding, building and soaring,
finds a puddle to be delight — a port
to sip and splash, to pause and preen
until the sky is open road again.

For the tired old body — in years or miles —
either way, who sinks soft-bottom down
into the cupped arms of a full bathtub
that catches the slide of bones dead tired,
and buoys them in the silky weight of water.

For the woman who wades up to her thighs
in a backcountry river to rinse thin gauze
camisoles and cotton shirts, wipes sun
from her forehead with a wrung out rag —
sighs long — then slaps it dry on flat rocks.