Carol Nolde

Carol Nolde

Grateful was selected for MSUL’s themed call for work about Water, in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum’s fall 2023 exhibition, Flint is Family in Three Acts, featuring the photography of Latoya Ruby Frazier.

Each morning I plunge my hands into warm water,
let them soak, and like food stuck in the bottom of a pot,
arthritic fingers loosen, become flexible.
I'm grateful for the water that pours from the faucet,
the basement heater that warms it.
On the farm we drew water from a well,
heated it on the cook stove,
thought twice before we emptied the basin
in the kitchen sink, where I bathed 
in the dark, lit by the overflow of light
from the living room where the family 
gathered nightly for tv.
Once a week I washed my hair
in rain water caught in the cistern,
pumped into a bucket in the dry sink.
Was it the rain water arriving through clear air
or the vinegar we added to the final rinse
that left my hair silky and shining?
Now the air, no longer clear,
my hair, no longer silky and shining,
but I am grateful for water pouring from the shower head,
the shampoo and soap suds disappearing down the drain,
all from a giving source to a receiving source
I will never see.

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