Migrant Worker
Ashley Mace Havird

Migrant Worker

Tolo, Greece

All day she emerges on the hour,
sweeps the flagstone patio
dividing hotel from beach—
the woman with the black plait
to her waist, face round and pretty and young.
Smiling into herself, she sweeps in time
to the small waves of the bay.
From on high, through balcony railings
painted blue to match the sea,
I pity her the Sisyphean task
and wonder at her smile,
until, looking out, I spot
along the faraway bar of the horizon
myself years ago, my daughter
beginning in my body.
Sand and pebbles return and return
on the unwashed feet of guests,
with the wind or unexpected rain.
Nearby a pomegranate tree . . .
its flowers flaming, the fruit swelling.

Ashley Mace Havird

has published three collections of poems, most recently The Garden of the Fugitives (Texas Review Press, 2014), which won the 2013 X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her poems and short stories have appeared in many journals, including Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Her novel, Lightningstruck, won the 2015 Ferrol Sams Award and will be published by Mercer University Press in 2016. A recipient of a Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship, she lives with her husband, the poet David Havird, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Her website is AshleyMaceHavird.com.