She scoops her hands
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slips them under the water,
scattering the face in the jar.
Waterfalls of pleasure
down her neck and breasts,
becoming warm rivulets
pooling on her belly.
Soaking the thin dress.
She plunges her arms deep into the jar.
A small gesture of luxury.
Her sigh rippling out to meet the heat haze
over the house paddock.
Clyde’s cattle truck by the stock yard
sends up fine bull dust.
Like his white washed promises - like lies.
“Washing machine, fridge, a proper home.”
Lifting her skirt - trailing it over the surface
catching the dust - hot sky
blue again in the water.
The wet cotton falls back
cold against her legs.
Stretching them down the veranda steps,
reaching again to the jar,
she traces a finger around the rim.
Pushing the tip against the cracked edge,
till pain flows in to her and out of her.
Till her blood feels thick and dark with need.
A tiny garden and a lemon tree.
Was that a lot to want?
A child's call breaks her reverie.
Rising slowly, leaning over the water jar,
she fixes her gaze on the eyes of all the woman
who’ve come before her,
Next year, she whispers fiercely, next year, if the rains don’t
Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the power and claims the name of essential poetry.