Joan Colby

It’s a myth, some say that salamanders
Prove the water table.
Yet I still seek that speckled affirmation
Lifting the well’s heavy lid to see them squirming
From the light.
Years ago, in winters like this, we dropped a heater down
The old well’s pit to forestall freezing.
Salamanders were fire-proof so we’d been told.
Those tales exist for a reason
Beyond art or science. A comfort somehow to think
That these regenerative amphibians
Are the Praetorian guard of sand-point wells.
Conducting subterranean inspections
Of water flow, of purity,
Assessors of goodness and plenty.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Gargoyle, Pinyon, Little Patuxent Review, Spillway, Midwestern Gothic and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 22 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Book Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which was awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her poems are included in numerous anthologies, the latest being Poets to Come which will be published in accordance with the Walt Whitman Bicentennial Convention, May 31-June 2, 2019. Colby is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Good Works Review. Website: Facebook: Joan Colby. Twitter: poetjm.