Thinking of Water

Carol V. Davis

Inching towards November

still no rain, this fifth year of drought.

My husband too is parched.

His language withering,

sometimes a drip, sometimes a deluge.

The other day he meant ‘frontier,’

only it burst out as ‘furniture,’

accompanied by a storm of anger.

As his abilities creak backwards,

I picture him at eight, puppy-like,

his body not yet grown into his jutting 

ears, front teeth too big, with a father

who demanded to be worshiped 

by everyone, even his own children,

a mother who wished she were Boston 

Brahmin, not from immigrant stock.

Am I now the depository of his memories?

Our own children have taken on 

roles they don’t deserve: having to shave 

him, take him for a walk.

A torrent of sorrow.


Headshot | Carol Davis


CAROL V. DAVIS is the author of Below Zero (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2023), Because I Cannot Leave This Body (Truman State Univ. Press, 2017), and Between Storms (TSUP, 2012). She won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Her poetry has been read on National Public Radio, the Library of Congress and Radio Russia. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, she taught in Siberia, winter 2018 and teaches at Santa Monica College, California and Antioch Univ. Los Angeles. She was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant for Siberia in 2020, postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions, and now canceled.