there are a thousand
years of peasant
women
dancing behind me
singing roughly
swaying
with sun cracked
faces
dirt hard hands
hands that knead
the loamy earth
dark and thick
as lovers' hair
hands raised naked
toward the downpour
unprotected from the holy water
unprotected from the earth's song
dancing deep
dancing long
I am the daughter
of the daughter
and there are a thousand
years of peasant
women
dancing behind me

© 1985 J.L.Stanley
Daughter of Bohemia
Waterhouse