She shouldered the weight of
her responsibilities by day with
proficient hands and simple faith,
treading lightly over stones immoveable,
through fields of sugar cane, sweet
but unyielding, skirting swamps of
quick sand waiting to suck her into
herself should seeds of regret find
Her days were like this, bequeathed
to others, but the night….
The night was hers to covet
within a tub of steamy froth,
the earthy scent of tea olive
soap on a sea sponge
harvested from the Gulf, lather
from neck to breast,
from breast to thigh,
from thigh to toe.
Vapor rising as if from Vesuvius’ peak to mingle
into worlds imagined. Hercules
could not have been a more ardent
enthusiast of the goddess-born bliss
of her bath ~
(voyeur though he may be)
and within the vapor of her bath each night
her dreams, finally escaping
the daily incarceration of duty
This poem inspired by Read Write Poem, Prompt #109.
26 thoughts on “Ten o’Clock”
This is so very seductive.
I like the contrast between the sense of diurnal duty, presumably to the world at large, and the sensuousness – even eroticism – of her private time. Degas is well served here!
Bingo.Absolutely lovely.You’ve captured the luxuriant wonderful world of the hot bubble bath with all its delights of steamy froth and tea
This is lovely and languorous!
Every woman desires that. Wonderfully put.
Degas would be delighted to know he (and she) had a hand in such a beautiful collection of words. Thank you for honoring them and sharing it with us.
Enjoyed this a lot. The day and night differences between the public and the personal. The scents really anchor that scene.
Great line – “the daily incarceration of duty” – a wonderful way to describe those moments we let go.
Ahh, this is so……delicious, almost yummy. I particularly like the vision of the bath and vapors. And the watching, ohhhh, now that is provocative. This poem paints a rather tingling expectation, a hidden longing, an evaporation of emotions. I did like it a lot. I’ve got to remember not to drink the bath water.
I like the idea of the bath as both cleansing and freeing, the stepping out of clothes, and the stepping out of one’s mortal, dirty and burdened body. For the woman, as you describer her so well, the soil and the work is more than ambition, but interpersonal, so the bath is a spiritual solitude as well.
I enjoyed the sensual contrasts between her daily toil and her dreams flying away with the steam: “her nights were hers to covet”…yes, we all have/can have those precious moments that no one else owns where we revel in our own skins
Excellent! This poem is powerful on multiple levels.
Thank you all for your great comments – I appreciate it so much. You all give me the inspiration to continue writing even when I have a headache as big as NoLA – like I did last night, writing this.
I love it! “The night was hers to covet”. Great line.
I love this – the ephemeral meets reality!
Fantastic poem. Sucked me in, made me read it three times…
Left me…feeling strangely settled.
“swamps of quick sand waiting to suck her into herself”, and I loved this image, strong, submerging.
And the refuge of the evening! Could use some of that right now myself. Maybe I have to share my space.
Oh, what a delicious poem! How well I know the pleasures of sinking into a bubble bath with tea in one hand and a book in the other! Reading your words, I was magically transported to that blissful moment where aching body meets scented, steaming waters. I particularly enjoyed how you captured the quiet moment that this woman indulged her sensuous nature and how it rejuvenated her. If I may be forgiven for invoking crass commercialism in this sacred space – Calgon, take me away!
This was simply terrific! Sultry, seductive, sexy, with great truths slipping in among the scenes…loved it!
Steamy and sultry… love it! The scope of it ranges far and wide as well, really brings to life the woman’s desire for escape.
I can but agree with the other commentators. Beautiful.
Group bath, anyone? Just kidding!!!!!
Sensual and vivid in description. I wouldn’t mind being a voyeur next to Hercules himself. Nicely done.
I was enjoying the bath as she did! Worthy of a prize!
Thanks, Strummed! I’m glad you like it.