the water bearer (dirge for aquarius)

RC deWinter

so many hours to fill
and the bucket
from which i fill them
rusting out

every day sees more droplets of soul
leaking from the seams
falling onto the ground
softening it
making a slippery unholy mess of mud
that is good for nothing and no one
but whatever dark demons
live in mud

every day more jagged flakes of thought
slough off and sink
anemic wet confetti
into that mud
trampled beyond recovery
by the work boots i must wear
in this dark wilderness

still i work on
neglecting chores
being not native to my nature

i am so tired

when i am done
i scrape my boots
and leave them naked
by the door

and strip off
all the wet and dirty clothing
my flesh is numb and glazed
apathy now fits like second skin
there is no wire brush made
to scour me clean
i need a long hot bath
in the water of redemption

the water i have borne
is foul
another night awaits
with nothing to redeem





RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in “New York City Haiku” (New York Times, 2/2017), easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles, (Patrick Heath Public Library of Boerne, 11/2021) The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Anthology (River Bend Bookshop Press, 12/2021), in print: 2River, Coffin Bell, Event, Gargoyle Magazine, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Ogham Stone, Twelve Mile Review, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals.