Ten O'Clock

She shouldered the weight of
her responsibilities by day with
proficient hands and simple faith,
treading lightly over stones immoveable,
through fields of sugar cane, sweet
but unyielding, skirting swamps of
quick sand waiting to suck her into
herself should seeds of regret find
fertile soil.

Her days were like this, bequeathed
to others, but the night….

The night was hers to covet
within a tub of steamy froth,
the earthy scent of tea olive
soap on a sea sponge
harvested from the Gulf, lather
from neck to breast,
from breast to thigh,
from thigh to toe.
Vapor rising as if from Vesuvius’ peak to mingle
into worlds imagined. Hercules
could not have been a more ardent
enthusiast of the goddess-born bliss
of her bath ~
(voyeur though he may be)

and within the vapor of her bath each night
rose also
her dreams, finally escaping
the daily incarceration of duty
to fly…

Charlotte Hamrick lives and writes in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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