Water Lies Heavy

Based on a painting by
Giovanni Battista Moroni
of the Vestal Virgin Tuccia, who proved her
virginity by carrying water in a sieve.
Vestal virgin

She carries water in a sieve
or so the story goes, yet she knows more,
knows that when she rises to her swollen feet
the water will seep into her toes, dispelling
the myth of her misplaced virginity.

For all those feet clicking past,
all those eyes over the centuries,
all those people who have swallowed
what is written by her side, in miniature,
believe what her maker wants them to believe:

Chastity emerges from the dark clouds of infamy.

She smiles in complicity as we move on.

Alison Hill

If you have any comments on this poem, Alison Hill  would be pleased to hear them.