WHEN THE RAIN FALLS TO END THE DROUGHT
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?
* * *
THE HOUSE IS FINALLY QUIET
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.