Gourd Dipper

She grinned as she stood watching me,
A wrinkled crooked toothless grin.
Tobacco juice in rivulets
Ran through the whiskers on her chin.

She’d filled the old gourd dipper full,
Good spring water, fresh, clear and cold.
To drink from her offered dipper –
Was I foolish to be so bold?

She looked at me with rheumy eyes.
Muff’ling her constant hacking cough
Had badly stained the once white rag,
She used to wipe the gourd rim off.

My thirst was great but could I drink
From any place those lips had been?
Just the thought had turned my stomach
But to refuse would seem a sin.

That’s when I noticed that the gourd
Had a handle that was hollow,
So I sucked the water through it.
As I was about to swallow,

She exclaimed, “Isn’t that too strange?
Something I thought I’d never see.
Someone else drinks through the handle
Just the very same way as me!”


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