The Water Bearers by John Grey

In this heat,
air barely exists.

Every muscle, every bone,
falls idle

except for the water carriers,
one after the after,
from the well
to this shimmering rock.

How keen they are
in the impossible weather


women sepal slender
with dark hair
in white dresses

all that’s alive
between the sun
and the coarse sand.

I can’t help loving them
as they draw nearer,
their detail overcoming
my lethargy.

I could trace them
with my fingertip.
so deliberate
are these moving mirages.

They are the proof
that thirst is impossible
as long as there is madness.

©2018 John Grey


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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Harpur Palate, Poetry East and Visions International.


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