Sweet Chestnut

She poured the water where her mind was deepest.

The solid sweet chestnut washstand
held the porcelain bowl
where she poured the water
and dipped her handkerchief.
The purity of grief
wiped her tears; where love 
would not suffice, and she could not go on,
there was hard work and wages.

she would plunge down and down
under the waves
and her hair would surface first,
hemming about, with gold flecks
still in her seams, and sides.
The motherload would ring
in her shallows, and haunt her depths.

Emily Isaacson

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