Two poems by Mark Madigan

Updated: Feb 26, 2020



When I first saw her

standing at the edge

of the open grotto

the old black woman

was just reaching up,

touching the lip

of the great rock wall.

Then she began

tap-tapping her hands

along any piece

of the wall she could reach

as the line she waited in

started to move.

Still, she kept tapping,

collecting on her hands

the cool spring water

seeping through unseen

cracks in the stone

before she pressed it

into the muscles

of her face & neck

& then started reaching

& tapping again,

afraid not to make

the most of her one

chance to touch something