Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Water Story

Water Story

By Cortney Davis

I love the living sound of my plantwhen I water it,
the hiss and suck of agua
pulled through the soil by gravity,
the sweat that appears on the clay pot,
the unwrinkling of the leaves.
I had a patient once, pregnant mother
morning sick and evening sick, who arrived
hauling her children, carrying her bucket.
We slipped a needle in her vein,
dripped saline into the dry core of her,
and, right before me, the woman
plumped up. My ivy overflows—
a thread of water and fertilizer returns to earth
through the sink mouth. I am happy
that all life is circular. Seven months later,
the woman's chubby boy popped out, head first,
blood and water flooded the catch basin, spilled over.
I carry this story on my white shoes.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 73, No. 2, Disruptions (Summer 1999), p. 121

Biography

a photo of Cortney Davis

Cortney Davis, a nurse practitioner in women's health, is the author of five poetry collections including Leopold's Maneuvers (U of Nebraska P), winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. She is also the author of two nonfiction memoirs, I Knew a Woman: the Experience of the Female Body, winner of the Center for the Book Non-Fiction Award, and The Heart's Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing, winner of an Independent Publisher's Silver Medal in Non-Fiction. Davis is the poetry editor of the journal Alimentum: the Literature of Food.

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