Bath water

Katrina Kaye

She turns,
belly to porcelain,
white to white.
The bath water turns cold.

She hears him playing.
The gentle rhythm
of childish laughter,
echoing down the hall.
She shivers.

Her eyes turn inward.
With slippery fingers,
she grasps the side of the tub,
and sinks under water,
but still she can hear him.

Only an apparition come
to tease a lonely woman.
She never wanted much
other than to hear the sound
of her boy’s laughter.

Her hair halos her face
in a cloud of chestnut.
Just a sliver of nose and lips,
resting on the surface.

She sips in humid air.
The laughter evaporates.
Eyes open underwater,
The world is blurred.
The sounds of childhood
faded.

“Bath water” is previously published in A Scattering of Imperfections (2009).

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