Today's poem is by Karen Rigby

Bathing in the Burned House

The house shimmers
behind ribbons of heat. Like a child's
shoe-box diorama, three brick walls embrace
the clawfoot tub. Its beveled rim

is painted black. The brass rod
stands upright as a heron.
A woman steps behind the vinyl curtain,

leans toward the spigot.
Drivers touch the ceilings of their cars
when they pass. They think it's lucky
water runs in a burned house.

Women envy her freedom.
Tease their husbands, saying church drives
and dry cleaning trips are white lies.
Maybe the neighborhood wives

take turns bathing yards
from the road, someone new each week.
Men linger at the curb. Breathe
milled soap, long to be

the sky above the woman's head.
Mid-August, any miracle could surface—
Mary's image graven in the road's peeled tar.

Copyright © 2008 Karen Rigby All rights reserved
from Savage Machinery
Finishing Line Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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