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What I Know About Shine
Dana Wildsmith


As clear as water from my well, but not
as clear as alcohol- as strange as that
may sound- for this is living liquid: a shot
of aqua vitae with its specks and motes
of vegetative matter and a dash
of death potential (as always is the case
with life) or at the least a gamble at
a loss of sight or sense or steady use
of legs and hands, my hands that took the jar
as if no harm could come to me- to you,
but not to me- because I would be scared
of even water from my well if too
much thought preceded drinking, and I
have found this also is the case with life.

© 2009 by Dana Wildsmith
Used with the author’s permission





Dana Wildsmith is the author of five collections of poetry, one of which (One Good Hand) was a nominee for Southeastern Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year. Dana is a popular workshop teacher and has done residencies and fellowships as far away as Alaska. She lives on a century-old family farm outside Atlanta and, when not writing, is an ESL instructor for Lanier Technical College.  Dana's poetry and essays--which frequently focus on her dogs, her family, and her life on the farm--have been featured in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies, including the highly acclaimed Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia. Dana's most recent book is Christmas in Bethlehem. Learn more about her at and



Post New Comment:
Cork: I have a quart of shine in a Mason jar which has been on the high shelf for over ten years. It was a gift from a still in West Virginia. I like to look at it but am afraid to taste it.
Posted 10/23/2014 08:37 AM

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