Woman at the Well*


Each dawn day

she draws inside herself

collapsing toward the darkness

down chasms of regret

past the gray hollow hulls

of dream-wrecked decades

buried under burnt-out hopes

searching for her footing--

like a swimmer far from shore

who cannot see her feet

beneath the black volcanic sand

until her bent shadow rises

when the sun comes up

and she finds her heartís desire

is as close as the breath

that swoons inside her freshened lungs.


Jerome L. McElroy

††††††††††† *Accepted in Hidden Oak (Spring-Summer 2006): 67.