UKArchive ID: 36545

The Rounds
by ifyouplease
Originally published on May 23, 2016 in Poetry        


They gathered before sunrise,
to pump water into pails.
Heads covered with fichus;
hair pillow warm from sleeping.
While filling them
no questions
no greetings.
No order than those
of lateness and earliness.
They’re more like shadows.

One by one, they go home
winding up the acclivitous road.
Even the lasses will look old,
hunching their shoulders,
some having humped
delicate amphorae.

First round of the day,
the pitcher goes so often
to the well,
at last it breaks.

Later the scene changes,
another water litany develops.
All the heads uncovered-
but the mourning ones-
full of energy and curiosity.
They want to socialize
and gossip under the midday sun.
The funny wrinkles –
the laughter
and laughers,
they’re more like human now.

The third round, slower,
dusk makes them paranoid,
the things they spoke of today
about their lives,
the husbands, the fiances, the lovers;
whatever had to do with them
should have remained unconfessed.
They’re more like women now,

© ifyouplease (ifyouplease on OLD UKA)

UKArchive ID: 36545
Archived comments for The Rounds

stormwolf on 24-05-2016
The Rounds
Deep, painful and masterly.

Alison x

Author’s Reply:


pdemitchell on 25-05-2016
The Rounds
Well, ya made me consult a dictiornary for the first time in years and not once but TWICE! Fichus = a woman's triangular scarf of lightweight fabric, worn over the shoulders and crossed or tied in a loose knot at the breast. Acclivitous = an upward slope, as of ground; an ascent (as opposed to declivity)from the latin acclīvitās. Great narrative and sense of movement in the descriptive. Mitch

Author’s Reply:
thank you Mitch – i hope you find the new two words inspiring for you too!


Mikeverdi on 25-05-2016
The Rounds
I've read this several times now, each getting better. You weave the story around the reader, holding us until its told…and we are breathless. I much admire your work on both posts this week.

Thanks for the read.


Author’s Reply:
village women! as i call them in greek agria xoria αγρια χωριά wild village people so to speak!


x thanks

Rosco on 24-06-2016
The Rounds
Masterful, both intuitively and poetically. It bears your mark.

Author’s Reply:
i think it is too polished. too meticulously honed.