women. writers.

Poetry: "Thirst" by Roxanne Gregory

grandmother was born a century ago

thirteenth-child unlucky

her body burned with scarlet fever

barely six-weeks old

an old country doctor

summoned by death at a nearby farm

by serendipity stopped for a drink of water

the sun was merciless that summer

bring me the child, he commanded

taking her limp dusky-red body

he plunged her into a bucket of water

drawn from the well’s deepest darkness

he held her there ’til life kicked her tiny feet

handed her dripping

to a ragged farm wife

who’d buried three others

she’ll be okay, he said

moping sweat from his stained starched collar

climbing into the buckboard

he shook the reins and was gone

an angel disappearing

amid grasshoppers in the summers dust

but for one man’s thirst

i would have never walked this way

nor written these words
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