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Water Witching

Water Witch


she clasped her hands

to both cheeks

shook her head violently

and hollered out loud

ah not gwane tell them

ah not looking

me nah look

but everyone could see

her eyes were glued

to the water

her reflection


the old women clicked their teeth

smiling said

poor thing

is seeing she is seeing

she didn’t wash clothes

at the spot

where the other

women did

she went off a ways

and stripped

to her bra

and panties

sitting on a

large white rock


by the river’s flow

for a long time

the other women

glanced her weary

hers was a gift

they did not envy

at the birth of her first child

she seemed to settle down

until one day

after drinking water

she flung the glass

that shattered into

tiny dimoned shards

miss tremblyn’s husband

dead tonight

she declared

and bright and early

the next morning

news of mister trembly’s passing

was whispered around


even grudgingly

they started

coming to her

bringing their own

cups cans and bottles

of water

didn’t matter if it

was from the spring

the river or the tap

if there was something

to see she saw and proclaimed

marriages deaths

betrayal financial disaster

even murder

until her head throbbed

and she covered her eyes

with a piece of black cloth

and wrapped her head with bay rum

but even then

if one of her children

brought her water

if there was something

else to see she saw

including her husband

leaving for the store

and not returning

from then on she read

the water in her own body

the moisture buried under the earth

cultivating the plants

the dew on the leaves

in the morning

the perspiration

dripping from people’s brow

every where there was water

she saw and choose
what to tell and what

to keep to herself

like the tears

she all too frequently

sucked in