Charred letter fragments wafted into the tree canopy. Good riddance.

Vee smeared the ash residue on her hips while waiting for the outdoor shower to warm. She stepped in as a cloudburst spattered the wood deck. Cool rain mingled with scalding water. Never good at finding a happy medium, the truth was the torture of contrasts made her feel alive. Like ash on pale skin. Wrong and right.

Was this right – “You will love again the stranger who was yourself”? Could this sparkling stranger beaded with water be her? Maybe?

The shower erased the ash smudges.

Cattle and wind shushed through purple loosestrife and between clouds the sun winked at her. Cows’ lowing harmonized with grasses stroking their hides as they ambled to the adjacent field. She stretched out on the deck, sky-scoured, tuned in to their hymn.

“Hi. Nice to meet you, stranger.”


Written in response to a prompt from dVerse to use a line from a Derek Walcott poem called Love after Love. The line is “You will love again the stranger who was yourself.”

25 thoughts on “Showered

    • Thanks, Kerry. I like writing to a form sometimes. Although constraining its also stimulating to figure out what are the bare bones needed to tell a story.


    • I had written this w/out giving the character a name and then I thought “Hmm. Being somewhere where there was an outdoor shower sounded like a place Vee might be.” Maybe this was pre-Harry? Things to ponder.

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    • Thanks, Bjorn. And thanks for doing so much with the DVerse community. I follow but this is only the 2nd time I’ve contributed. Such a great group of engaged poets!


  1. I’m not sure if my comment went on, so I’m posting it again.
    Very nicely done, Susanne! I like the charred letter fragments that become smeared ash residue – the end of a relationship, I think – and I love that the shower erased the ash smudges to leave a sparkling stranger. And what a great ending, chilling out with the cows!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooops. Looks like I missed replying to you, Kim. My apologies! The location is a real place in the Gatineau Hills in the Canadian Province of Quebec. I’d been dying to use it in something and lo and behold dVerse provided the opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

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