The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


David Bart

White Water


It's gonna work this time.
The die-cast promise of metal signs
above the two porcelain basins
made us forget it never worked before.
I twisted the chrome handle until
my hand gave out waiting for a taste
of blue or to see an arc of orange.
All we ever got was a dribble
of plain water from the corroded spigot
on the Colored drinking fountain.
Some kept trying, but most kids
knew the sign was wrong;
All water was the same.




DAVID BART, a writer from Arlington, Texas, directs creative writing projects for elementary students and presents interactive stories for young people. His poetry appears most recently in Poet Lore, Slipstream, San Pedro River Review, Cattlemen and Cadillacs (Dallas Poets Community Press) and at  



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