Marie Kane


          to Lucas

When rain falls to end the drought,
her grandson rushes outside to rustling
fields and dry sycamore trees –sssshhhh
what sound those fields make in wind,
what ghostly light those sycamores cast.
Dry leaves brush clapboards of the house.
Underneath twilight's window, she rises
to grab her cane, makes her halting way
to the door. In the open, his upturned face
welcomes this gift of rain, this sweet
wetness, this relief from all things dry.

What thunder could be as loud
as her heart's incessant noise?

* * *


This April day can't make up its mind:
         sun and finches flirt with the bird
feeder and wind throws itself against

a lowering sky as rain hits the roof. Sun
         shower marks sky's edges of light
and dark so that it looks to be drawn

by an architect. Precise lines assert the order
         of things: the knowing angles of corners,
the perspective of skyscrapers and bedrooms.

Workers have finally ceased their jackhammer
         assault on our concrete porch and walk.
Jagged blocks rest helter-skelter like mountains

upended by earthquake, or Zeus. Last fall's
         leaves shift from one fence line to
another, wait for spring green to fold them in.

Suddenly I do not want my life to be any different,
         even though my shorter left leg doesn't
bend but swings forward, or when kind hands

tug me up from a chair. My ungainly body yaws
         from one side to the other, like a child
learning how to ride a bike. Years ago, I shoved

the slowing, the stiffening, into the mind's
         compartment that hopes, always,
for the best. I watch a man's shovel dig straight

footers for concrete. He steps around the old,
         whose color, like gray sea mottled from rain,
mimics the changing spring day. A sloping sidewalk

will rise to meet the new porch that now has no steps,
         flanked by Emerald Boxwood, Knock Out roses,
and a cedar bench to sit upon. Glorious – this shrine

to summer – where juniper jumps the wall, trails
         to Snowflake hydrangea and bright liriape,
where Crepe Myrtle shouts scarlet blooms, southern sky.



Marie Kane's poetry has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, U. S. 1 Worksheets, Wordgathering, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Delaware Valley Poets, The Poet's Touchstone, The Meadowland Review, The Damselfly Press, and others. She is the 2006 Bucks County Poet Laureate. She was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 1991, and secondary-progressive MS in 2005. Her book, Survivors in the Garden (Big Table Publishing), was released in June of 2012 and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.