Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Lasting Water

Lasting Water

By Ron Rash

After fingers raked out the caul
of black leaves, and spring lizards
scuttled and settled like things
blown by the wind, only then
would my grandfather savor
that spurt water makes in sand
as it breaks free from the world's
underneath to pool and spread
across the land like skyroots
even in the direst drought.
He called it lasting water,
that low-pulsed flow he scooped up
with blistered palms so it might
touch his lips as he kneeled there
at the field's edge where corn rows
withered like paper in flames,
limp rags of tobacco burned
without a match and green wings
sang in the trees to bring rain.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 75, No. 1 (Spring 2001), p. 51


a photo of Ron Rash Photo by

Mark Haskett

Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels, four collections of poems, and four collections of stories. His short story collection Burning Bright won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O.Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

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